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Griffith Health Employee perceptions of the management of workplace stress Nicholas Buys Griffith University Lynda Matthews University of Sydney Christine.

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Presentation on theme: "Griffith Health Employee perceptions of the management of workplace stress Nicholas Buys Griffith University Lynda Matthews University of Sydney Christine."— Presentation transcript:

1 Griffith Health Employee perceptions of the management of workplace stress Nicholas Buys Griffith University Lynda Matthews University of Sydney Christine Randall Griffith University

2 Griffith Health Impact of Workplace Stress US: Cost $300 billion per year absenteeism, reduced productivity and turnover UK: Costs economy 10% of GDP Australia: Direct costs to employers of over $15 billion

3 Griffith Health Level of Intervention Sources of workplace stress include: excessive work hours unreasonable performance demands health and safety risks lack of autonomy poor communication, role ambiguity job insecurity workplace conflict bullying and harassment Interventions therefore required at organisational level as well as with individual

4 Griffith Health Workplace Stress and DM Considerable evidence to support a DM approach that addresses sources of workplace stress Minimal research into application of DM to the management of work-related stress Lack of research into employees perceptions of the extent to which their employers implement effective disability management

5 Griffith Health Purpose of Study To explore how employees perceive their organizations efforts to address the management of stress in their workplaces To examine differences in the management of workplace stress based on organizational location and size To explore relationships between the incidence of stress, management of stress, and the number and likelihood of compensation claims

6 Griffith Health Method Management of Workplace Stress Questionnaire Purpose: Ratings of how organization addresses prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of workplace stress Section 1: Demographic variables »Location of organisation ie country »Organisational type eg manufacturing, retail »Organisational size ie number of employees »Respondents role in the organisation

7 Griffith Health Method Management of Workplace Stress Questionnaire Section 2: 30 statements and 3 open-ended questions Example items My organization has a safety program to address workplace stress In my organization workplace accommodations are made to help workers with stress condition to RTW

8 Griffith Health Method Management of Workplace Stress Questionnaire Open-ended questions How does your organization informs employees about its workplace stress management policy? What areas of work in your organization have been identified as having risks? What services are provided by your organization to manage workplace stress?

9 Griffith Health Demographics Roles Owner/manager (27%), Disability manager (17%) Academic/researcher (11%), Claims manager (6%) Human resource manager (3%), Other (36%)

10 Griffith Health Demographics Region Europe (63%) North America (24%), Oceania (11%), Asia (1%) Africa (1%)

11 Griffith Health Demographics Business Type Health and community services (23%) Government agency (21%) Finance, insurance, property (13%) Education (12%) Manufacturing (6%) Transport (4%) Retail trade (2%) Other (19%).

12 Griffith Health Results Three sub-scales identified in Questionnaire : 1.Prevention 2.Rehabilitation 3.Workplace Environment Scales had high level of internal consistency

13 Griffith Health Results Respondents not overly positive about their organisations management of workplace stress Mean scores on individual survey items ranged from 3.06 to 4.85 (3 = Somewhat disagree, 4 = Somewhat agree, 5 = Agree) On 67% of items the mean response was less than 4

14 Griffith Health Results: Prevention sub-scale items Main areas of concern Stress prevention training Collection and analysis of data to inform prevention efforts Assessing risk relating to stress Provision of safety programs to address workplace stress One area perceived to be adequate Process to minimize physical risks in the workplace

15 Griffith Health Results: Rehabilitation sub-scale items Rated more positively than prevention Provision of workplace accommodations Monitoring and follow up of workers Main area of concern Training of supervisors to assist workers with a stress injury to return to work

16 Griffith Health Results: Workplace Environment sub-scale items Areas rated most positively Level of job satisfaction in the organization Level of trust between management and employees

17 Griffith Health Results: Demographic variables No differences based on regional or organizational location Significant differences based on organizational size and workplace environment Smaller organizations (<100 employees) rated significantly higher than medium or large organizations on: »Job satisfaction »Levels of trust between management and employees »Joint resolution on ways to manage stress »Organizational commitment to deal with issues causing stress

18 Griffith Health Results Higher levels of reported stress in organizations were associated with lower ratings of workplace environments Lower levels of compensation claims were associated with higher ratings of prevention & higher workplace environment ratings A higher likelihood of making a claim was negatively associated with higher ratings of the workplace environment

19 Griffith Health Results: Qualitative data Communication of workplace stress management policy , intranet, on-line bulletins, Information sessions, induction training, staff training, staff meetings Operations manuals, posters, company newspapers, information brochures Personal contact, telephone helplines Health & safety policies 15/48 responses (31%) no formal communication of policy

20 Griffith Health Results: Qualitative data Areas of work identified as having risks Various occupational roles High workload, time pressure, production deadlines, Lack of resources, lack of supervision, lack of control, constant change, unrealistic performance expectations Exposure to physical risks Adversarial management style, conflict with colleagues Client expectations, aggressive clients Poor work-life balance, shift work, long hours

21 Griffith Health Results: Qualitative data Services to help workers manage workplace stress Work arrangements Flexible working conditions Mandated working hours Provision of mentors Job sharing Workplace and job accommodations Opportunities to attend seminars & conferences

22 Griffith Health Results: Qualitative data Services to help workers manage workplace stress Counselling, family support services, employee assistance programs Occupational health services Workplace health promotion, wellness information, relaxation programs On-line help services, and workplace stress analyses Gym facilities doctor consultations Support groups Manager training, personal coaching

23 Griffith Health Conclusions Employees are under-whelmed by the efforts of their employers to address the management of workplace stress, particularly in the area of prevention Importance of a positive workplace culture A systems approach is required to address the range of individual, organizational and environmental issues that impact management of workplace stress

24 Griffith Health Limitations & Further Research Nature and size of survey sample Validity of questionnaire not fully established Further research needed using larger populations to examine influence of number of independent variables


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