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Communication Employee Engagement Health Organizational Culture Workplace Wellness

Dealing With Mental Health Issues in the Work Place

About one in four persons experience mental health problems each year and since work is predicted as the most stressful part of most people’s lives, employers must help tackle the issue. For many of us, work is a major part of our lives, it is where we spend much of our time, where we get our income and often where we make our friends. Having a fulfilling job can be good for your mental health and general wellbeing.

The mental health of any employee is highly affected by the way they think, act and deal with every circumstance at any given time.

Distress is a word used to describe times when a person is having difficulties coping with situations and their environment, for whatever reason. It could be something at home, the pressure of work, or the start of a mental health problem like depression. When we feel distressed, we need a compassionate, human response. The earlier we are able to recognise when something isn’t quite right, the earlier we can get support.

HOW TO SUPPORT MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES

 

BANISH THE STIGMA

The biggest barrier facing businesses is the way we see mental health. Employees are afraid of discussing the issue with others in case they lose their jobs or are judged. A huge percentage of workers feel there is a stigma attached to mental health issues in the workplace. 

A lot of employees would feel more motivated if their employer showed support for their wellbeing.

SPOT THE WARNING SIGNS

The general feeling among mental health experts is that help is lacking in the workplace. Managers need to have the skills to be able to spot early signs of mental health problems; from changes in behaviour to acting withdrawn or unable to cope with daily tasks, management should notice if someone is struggling with tasks assigned to them.

Offering help early may assist in stoping the situation from becoming worse. Managers don’t need to become experts in mental health to offer the right support by simply being attentive and sensitive to employee’s feelings, giving them an open and comfortable environment to express them selves will go a long way in helping any employee. 

HOW TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY MENTAL LIFE

TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS

Talking about your feelings is not a sign of weakness; it’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy. It can be hard to talk about feelings at work. So  having colleagues or a manager who asks how you are at supervision sessions, can really help. Identifying someone you feel comfortable talking to and who will be also be supportive is a great way to go, this can be the in house councilor. It is also important to keep in mind what you are okay disclosing to others and the best time to do so. If you are open about how you feel at work, especially if you are a leader, it might encourage others to do the same.

KEEP ACTIVE

Regular exercises can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, look and feel good. Exercising doesn’t just mean doing sport or going to the gym it could simply be making physical activities that you enjoy as part of your day. Experts say that most people should do about 30 minutes’ exercise at least five days a week.

EAT WELL

What we eat can affect how we feel both immediately and in the long run. A diet that is good for your physical health is also good for your mental health. Be aware that some people find public eating at work very stressful because of past or current eating disorders – so if someone doesn’t want to come to work dinners, or makes different food choices in the office, don’t pass comment or put pressure on them to join in.

DRINK SENSIBLY

people often drink alcohol to change our mood, some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary. Most people don’t drink at work – but most of us recognise the pattern of drinking more at the weekend or in the evening when work is hard going. Be careful with work functions that include drinking. It can be tempting to have a drink to get ‘Dutch courage’, but if you feel anxious you may drink too much and end up behaving in a way you’d rather not, which could increase feelings of anxiety.

KEEP IN TOUCH

Relationships are key to our mental health. Working in a supportive team is very important for our mental health at work. We don’t always have a choice about who we work with, and if we don’t get on with managers, colleagues or clients, it can create tension. Try and make sure you maintain your friendships and family relationships even when work is intense a work–life balance is important, and experts now believe that loneliness may be as bad for our health as smoking or obesity.

ASK FOR HELP

None of us are superhuman, we all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan.Your employer may have an employee assistance programm. These services are confidential and can be accessed free and without anyone at work finding out. You may also be able to access occupational health support through your line manager or HR service. 

TAKE A BREAK

A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. It could be a five-minute pause from what you are doing, a book or podcast during the commute, a half-hour lunch break at work, or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’. When you are on leave or at home, resist the temptation to check in with work if you find that you can’t break away, it may be a sign that you should be re-examining your workload to manage stress.Sleep is essential to our mental health. Listen to your body. Without good sleep, our mental health suffers and our concentration goes downhill.

DO SOMETHING YOU ARE GOOD AT

What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past? Enjoying yourself can help beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you are good at it, and achieving something boosts your self-esteem.  If possible, you should plan your workload to include tasks you know you are good at, so as to ‘sandwich’ things you know will be harder or more stressful. At work, you may have a hobby you would like to share or join in with colleagues on – a work cycling club, book group or crafting group can be a great way to share a skill with others.

ACCEPT WHO YOU ARE

We are all different, and its much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else. Feeling good about yourself boosts your confidence to learn new skills, visit new places and make new friends. Good self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a difficult turn. Be proud of who you are, recognise and accept the things you may not be good at, but also focus on what you can do well. If there’s anything about yourself you would like to change first and foremost ensure that  your expectationas are realistic, then work towards the change in small steps. 

CARE FOR OTHERS

Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. Another mental booster is giving aid to people who are in need like visiting orphanages, old folks home, homeless people, hospitals and even prisons, sometimes seeing how others live will help you appreciate where you are and what you have more. Gratitude and appreciation is a mental and mood booster. Working life can provide opportunities to care for others , in most jobs, you can choose to be there for colleagues – either as a team-mate, or as a line manager, strategies like coaching and training are good ways to support others.

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Communication Employee Engagement Employment Health Interview Organizational Culture Workplace Engagement Workplace Wellness

WHY YOU NEED A HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTANT

Taking care of your employees is as important as taking care of your clients, that is where Human Resources (HR) comes in. This is the department that focuses on employee matters and keeps them connected to the company. A strong, knowledgeable, and experienced HR department is important for any company but nowadays, hiring an HR consultant is a convenient way to get the job done. Human resource consultants provide a variety of general and specific advice to businesses, including on advanced and specialized duties. Knowing that you have a professional doing the job alleviates the worries associated with HR. More importantly, there are a lot of advantages in hiring an HR consultant. Let’s tackle some of these advantages so you could see if it is a viable option for your company.

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HELP WITH RECRUITMENT PROCESSES

HR management consultants helps companies recruit and hire the best candidates within the client’s budget They are in charge of hiring people who are qualified for the positions your company needs to fill. Recruiters use a variety of practices for talent searching, such as; using proprietary databases, reviewing potential internal candidates, social media, and posting positions on internet job boards. These consultants work with the client from the initial meeting through the final hire because they are aware that the hired employees are the face and backbone of the company and the performance of employees is a big factor on how well the company performs.

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BENEFITS AND COMPENSATION

Another area of HR specialization is benefits and compensation, sometimes known as total rewards. Total rewards include base pay, benefits, commissions, salaries, perks, bonuses, rewards, award programs etc. HR consultants help businesses maximize their budgets by determining which positions should be filled by employees and what functions should be outsourced. The consultant then reviews industry pay scales for these positions. HR consultants also offer payroll services, working with finance departments.

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TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT

Another thing an HR consultant does is creating and scheduling training sessions. HR consultants help workers improve and develop new skills required in executing their job description. These training could be on anything from; attitudinal change, communications skills, time management, customer service, leadership skills etc. HR consultants provide seminars and workshops, helping businesses develop succession plans to ensure they have qualified internal candidates to replace those who leave.

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HEALTH AND SAFETY

Healthy workers are more productive and incur lower health care and insurance costs for employers. Health, safety, security and wellness all play a role in maintaining the most productive workforce, and HR consultants advise clients in these areas. This can include making sure companies follow federal and state safety regulations, improving workplace security practices, institute wellness programs and review workers’ compensation claims to look for proper classification of employees and claims patterns that might identify safety or health issues the client needs to address.

Work Safety

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

HR consultants assists with the performance management of employees. They can create the most suitable appraisal process that would benefit the company and its employees.

Having a performance management system shows that your company recognizes all the hard work your employees do. This system motivates employees to do better, with performance management, employees can be assessed through their overall performance and identify who qualifies for the appraisals and who would need some more improvement to get back on track.

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STAYING COMPLIANT

Another area where HR consultants provide expertise is in legal compliance. Consultants are highly knowledgeable in Federal employment rules and regulations, Equal Employment Opportunity, Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines. HR consultants always gets themselves abreast with current employment law and ensures that companies adhere to these laws to veer away from legal challenges.  HR consultants also help businesses develop employee handbooks with policies and procedures they must follow.

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EXPERT ADVICES

HR consultants don’t just hire and develop workers they also give owners and managements expert advices on how best to run the company and what is needed to ensure the smooth and effective running of the company. As they interact and handle human resource matters, they get ideas on areas that needs improvement in the business and how it can affect everyone working there.

They could give advice about matters like training and seminars, how to give excellent employee experience, rewards and recognitions, and other suggestions that could lead to better employee relations and company reputation.

Outsourcing

CONCLUSION

Hiring an HR consultant is a great way to handle your employment relations matter. IPC is a consulting company focused on providing these and a wider range of Human Resource Management Services. Trust our bank of experienced professionals to proffer solutions to whatever problems your organization is facing. We are your reliable business partners.

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Communication Employee Engagement Employment Health Interview Organizational Culture Workplace Engagement Workplace Wellness

APPRECIATION IN THE WORK PLACE

APPRECIATION IN THE WORK PLACE

Have you ever heard someone say I don’t want to tell them how much I appreciate the work they do because it will get to their head and they would become lazy? My response to statements like that is always, put yourself in that person’s shoes and tell me how you feel when your sacrifice and effort go unnoticed or even unappreciated by your bosses or supervisors? You can tell your teammates, coworkers, and staff how much valuable they are to you and how important their contributions are to the organization, no occasion is necessary to show appreciation. In fact, little surprises and signs of your appreciation spread throughout the year help the individuals in your work life feel valued all year long.  Do not reserve your appreciation for special occasions, but make it a customary habit to thank regularly, let your employees and employers understand how much care you care for them and their contributions to the work place.

GREAT WAYS TO SHOW APPRECIATION IN THE WORK PLACE 

PRESENT A BESPOKE GIFT: Recognize your employee/employer interests well enough to present a small gift occasionally. A cherished gift and the act of providing it will light up a day. A greeting card serves the same purpose. You can give a card for no reason at all, to celebrate a special day such as a birthday, or to offer sympathy when a coworker is ill or experiences a family death. 

GIVE FINANCIAL INCENTIVES: during the holidays give a bonus, if the company is making a ton of profit give a raise because without the hard work of the staff daily activities will be slow. Also, it is nice to give attendance bonuses once in a while as this will motivate staff to always be at work even at odd hours. 

TREAT THEM TO A MEAL: Take coworkers or staff to lunch for a birthday, a special occasion or for no reason at all. Let your guest pick the restaurant. Or, order pizza or lunch from a caterer or a store that delivers. Schedule a brunch for a team that has met its current goals and over-delivers on its promised timeline. Food always makes people happy.

BRING IN LITTLE SURPRISES: Gifts such as cookies or cupcakes, particularly anything edible, and unexpected are a huge hit. it gives staff members a sense of belonging and makes them feel ;like their contributions are noticed and appreciated by their boss/supervisors.

PROVIDE OPPORTUNITY FOR ADVANCEMENT:  People desire possibilities for training and cross-training. They want to partake in a special committee where their capacities are observed. They like to attend professional association meetings and represent your organization at civic and philanthropic events. Do you presently have only your executives attending these events? Spread the wealth of opportunity to all employees. They will genuinely appreciate it.

ALWAYS SAY THANK YOU: always praise a job well-done and identify specific actions that you have found admirable. Either to a teammate, employee and even your boss. Show gratitude for their hard work and contributions, this will be even sincerer since you took out time to spell out details.

 Employee/employer appreciation is never out-of-place. In fact, in many organizations, it’s an uncommon service. Make your workplace the exception. Use every opportunity to display your gratitude and appreciation.

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Communication Employee Engagement Organizational Culture Workplace Engagement Workplace Wellness

Performance Appraisal

DEFINITION

Performance appraisals are usually designed by the human resources (HR) department as a way for employees to develop in their careers. It is a means of providing individuals in an  Organization with feedback on their job performance. It ensures that employees are managing and meeting the goals expected of them, giving them guidance on how to reach them if they fall short.

Performance Appraisal is usually Done in the following ways:

  1. The supervisors measure the pay of employees and compare it with targets and plans.
  2. The supervisor analyses the factors behind work performances of employees.
  3. The employers are in position to guide the employees for a better performance.

The reason why this is done is because companies have a limited pool of fund from which it award incentives, such as raises and bonuses. Performance appraisals helps the company determine how to allocate those funds. They provide a way for companies to determine which employees have contributed the most to the company’s growth so companies can reward their top performing employees accordingly.

TYPES OF PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS

 

  • Self-assessment: individuals rate their job performance and behaviors themselves.
  • Peer assessment: an individual’s workgroup or co-workers rate their performance.
  • 360-degree feedback assessment: includes input from an individual, supervisor, and peers.
  • Then the newer addition which is called the NEGOTIATED APPRAISAL: This is a newer trend that utilizes a mediator and attempts to moderate the disapproving nature of a performance review it focuses on what the individual is doing right before any criticism is given. This structure tends to be useful during conflicts between subordinates and supervisors.

What are performance appraisals used for?

  • Performance appraisals are used to review the job performance of an employee over some period of time. These reviews are used to highlight both strengths and weaknesses in order to improve future performance.

When should a performance appraisal take place?

  • Performance management is an ongoing process. Throughout the year, managers are encouraged to engage with employees to establish goals, note progress, and provide feedback. Formal reviews or appraisals often take place on a yearly or quarterly basis.

HOW ARE APPRAISALS CARRIED OUT ?

Performance appraisal is usually done in the following ways:

  • The supervisors measure the pay of employees and compare it with targets and plans.
  • The supervisor analyses the factors behind work performances of employees.
  • The employers are in position to guide the employees for a better performance.

WHEN TO APPRAISE


• Performance management is an ongoing process. Throughout the year, managers are encouraged to engage with employees to establish goals, note progress, and provide feedback. Formal reviews or appraisals often take place on a yearly or quarterly basis.

ADVANTAGES

It is said that performance appraisal is an investment for the company which can be justified by following the advantages:

  1. Promotion: whether an employee in an organization is promoted, demoted or even dismissed, is highly dependent on their performance appraisal. Supervisors can adequately determine the promotion qualification for efficient employees while inefficient workers can be dismissed or demoted.
  2. Compensation benefits: performance appraisal helps in mapping out Compensation packages which include; bonus, high salary rates, extra benefits, and allowances which are all dependent on the nature of the employee’s review. The criteria should be merit based rather than seniority.
  3. Employee development: the systematic procedure of performance appraisal helps the supervisors to frame training policies and programmes. It also helps in framing future development programmes.
  4. Selection validation: This is useful when selecting an individual to perform certain task, the appraisal enables the supervisors select the right person for the right role and authenticates the validity of their selection.
  5. Motivation: performance appraisal serves as a motivational tool, that enables an employee perform their job better by capitalizing on their strengths and improving on their weaknesses.

How Often Should Performance Appraisals Be Conducted ?

Performance management is an ongoing process. Throughout the year, managers are encouraged to engage with employees to establish goals, note progress, and provide feedback. Formal reviews or appraisals often take place on a yearly or quarterly basis.

objectives of performance appraisal

 

  1. To maintain records in order to determine compensation packages, wage structure, salaries raise, etc.
  2. It is also used when identifying the strengths and weaknesses of employees to place right men on right job.
  3. To maintain and assess the potentials present in a person for further growth and development.
  4. To provide feedback to employees regarding their performance and related status.
  5. It serves as a basis for influencing working habits of the employees.
  6. To review and retain promotional and other training programmes.
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Communication Health Workplace Wellness

Coronavirus Vs The Workplace

With the ever-growing rate of persons infected with the coronavirus, there is a great need for the workplace to implement best health practices.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is
an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory
syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). 

With it first identified in 2019
in Wuhan, China, it has since spread globally and declared a pandemic
by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The common symptoms associated with the COVID-19  includes:

  • fever,
  • cough,
  • shortness of breath,
  • Muscle pain,
  • Sputum production
  • Sore throat.

While the majority of cases result in mild
symptoms, some progress to severe pneumonia and multi-organ
failure.

The infection is typically spread from one person
to another via respiratory droplets produced during coughing and
sneezing.

CORONAVIRUS AND HOW IT IMPACTS THE WORKPLACE

COVID19

When global health emergencies take place, they often bring to light breach within the workplace. It is pertinent that organizations can identify them and make improvements to protect their employees in the event of another global health occurrence.

According to Forbes; in 2016, the flu season was estimated to cost $5.8 billion in health care and lost productivity costs, while the swine flu in 2009 had an estimated economic loss range from 0.5 to 1.5% of GDP (gross domestic product) on affected countries.

It is therefore imperative that we share ways in which coronavirus (Covid-19) might impact the future of the workforce and how organizations can build a successful, healthy and productive organization.

TELECOMMUTING

Telecommute

While
some economies have embraced the idea of telecommuting, some are yet to adopt
this system.  Flexjobs notes that 91% of
remote work has grown over the last decade and with how delicate the situation
is, more organizations will be forced to embrace this means.

Most
large organizations make remote work an easy option because they have the
infrastructure to support it, and providing this option makes it easy for them
to attract top talent. It is therefore imperative to build the organization’s
capability to offer remote work and there are also advantages to this option;

  • When employees should request the need or prefer to work from home, they usually appreciate the opportunity.
  • Reduced costs for the employer employees often provide their means of getting the job done eg( Telephone, Laptops, Internet).
  • The employer also saves on the cost of office space.
  • It provides the employer with the ability to employ individuals who through disability are unable to travel to a workplace.

Other means of communication to get work done in and out of office include:

1. Asana

Asana is arguably the best when it comes to task and project management. The project management tool is great for teams as one can be able to seamlessly create project workflows and create tasks which can be assigned to members within your team.  

With the added benefit of being able to add notes, upload files, and set deadlines for tasks.

2. Zoom

Zoom is an enterprise-level, all-in-one collaboration tool with a small business price tag. It offers video and web conferencing solutions as well as a cross-platform instant messaging and file-sharing features. 

Zoom lets users hold all types of online meetings, such as one-on-one video conferences, town hall meetings, training, webinars and marketing events. The service can be used on desktops, mobile devices, and your company’s video and conference room systems. A developer platform is available to integrate Zoom features – such as video, voice and screen sharing – with apps your business already uses.

3. GoToMeeting

If you need a basic, easy-to-use web conferencing solution, GoToMeeting can get you started immediately. Its one-click meeting feature enables to quickly schedule meetings straight from Outlook or Google Calendar. In addition to HD videoconferencing, GoToMeeting comes with dozens of useful tools to make your meetings more productive and interactive. These include screen sharing, web audio, a dial-in conference line, drawing tools and the ability to record meetings.

5. Slack  

Slack brings all types of communication of an organization together — project or topic-specific conversations, collaboration, file sharing, and more. It also easily integrates with all other tools that you may be already using, making it a versatile and seamless experience for the team.

6. Clockify

Clockify is
an accurate productivity software tool on the market that can be used to
track the number of time an employee is spending on specific tasks and
projects. It’s a simple time tracker and timesheet app that
lets you and your team track work hours across projects.

WORKPLACE
MEASURES

For organizations whose countries are less affected or with a record of low cases, protective measures must be put in place to ensure the environment is safe and tidy and prevalence of the virus is minimal.

Use of sanitizers to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the workplace
Alcohol-Based Sanitizer
  • Make sure your workplaces are clean and hygienic  
    • Surfaces (e.g. desks and tables)
    • objects (e.g. telephones, keyboards) need to be wiped with disinfectant regularly because contamination on surfaces touched by employees and customers is one of the main ways that COVID-19 spreads
  • Promote regular and thorough hand-washing by employees, contractors and customers. (60 seconds recommended)
  • Put sanitizing hand rub dispensers in prominent places around the workplace, and ensure these dispensers are regularly refilled
  • Promote good respiratory hygiene in the workplace
  • Ensure that face masks and/or paper tissues are available at your workplaces, for those who develop a runny nose or cough at work, alongside closed bins for hygienically disposing of them
  • Anyone with even a mild cough or low-grade fever (37.3 C or more) needs to stay at home. Encourage work from home if they have had to take simple medications, such as paracetamol/acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin, which may mask symptoms of infection
  • Encourage employees to wash their hands regularly and stay at least one meter away from people who are coughing or sneezing
  • Develop a contingency and business continuity plan for an outbreak in the communities where your business operates. The plan will help prepare your organization for the possibility of an outbreak of COVID-19 in its workplaces or community. It may also be valid for other health emergencies

 UNLIMITED SICK LEAVE

Before the coronavirus outbreak, data suggests
that 90% of employees have admitted to coming to work when ill. These
sick employees are reported to be less productive than engaged and healthy
employees.

Organizations should update their sick leave policy to accommodate the health needs of your employees.  Create a plan that extends sick leave based upon the severity, or, offer only unlimited sick days and stick with your current paid time off plan; because healthy employees lead to a healthy business.

Coronavirus Vs the workplace

The business environment is just one of many
institutions that are not creating an environment that supports their employees
taking space to heal when they face illness.

Now is
the time to prepare for COVID-19. Simple precautions and planning can make a
big difference in protecting your employees and growing your business.