Posts Tagged ‘control’

Work stress and ways to change the workplace

June 3, 2008

A new study in Australia has shown that nearly one in five working women with depression can attribute it to their job and one in eight depressed working men have problems because of work stress.


One key contributor is high demands and low control within a job, with people in lower paid roles particularly at risk.


This is nothing new. Studies like this come out every week. But the attitude of the VicHealth organisation is encouraging. Todd Harper (CEO) states “I think one of the things that we can do is to actually convince workplaces that this information is important, that they actually stand to benefit out of this because in a time of workforce shortage, the most valuable employees are the ones that you already have, keeping them healthy is the priority,” he said.
“Simply increasing the demands on staff comes with consequences and I think workplaces are aware of that, they can start to design their work in a more efficient and productive way.”


Here are some ideas for making the change to efficiency and productivity in the workplace. These will provide more control to employees which should reduce stress levels.


·        Make teams self managing and autonomous. Adults are self organising and will achieve given deadlines and clear roles and responsibilities.

·        Trust people to do the job without micromanagement. Managers do not need to go to all meetings. Delegate responsibility and make people feel they are valued.

·        Back up your team members. Don’t overturn decisions made by others if delegation of authority has occurred. This undermines confidence and displays a lack of trust.  

·        Give people the opportunity and encouragement to act creatively without fear of recrimination or blame in case of failure.

·        Embrace new ideas and reward people for submitting them

·        Treat people well and respect individuals for their skills. Don’t try to put people in boxes. Their job description is not the end of who that person is. Give people an opportunity to shine.