Sudden change in job functions can take toll on employees’ mental health

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Health Assured team

13 February 2017

When Morneau Shepell vice-president Paula Allen set out to research the link between organizational change and absenteeism, she thought the big events – mergers, downsizings, restructurings – might have the most profound impact on employees. Instead, she discovered that more commonplace events such as job redesign can lead to even greater distress. The human resources consulting firm reported that while an accelerated pace of change is “the new normal” in most Canadian workplaces, it is also a major source of anxiety – to the point that 46 per cent of 1,018 Canadian employees recently surveyed by the firm had taken time off work or noticed other employees booking off sick following workplace changes. Mergers, layoffs and team restructuring can all take a toll on employee well-being and productivity. However, Morneau Shepell found that job redesign is the change most likely to lead to sick leave. Employers generally recognize the need for communication and support around the major moves, but not so much the need for support around changes that directly affect employees’ day-to-day work lives, the firm reported. “The interesting thing about job redesign is that very often it feels out of somebody’s control,” Ms. Allen, Morneau Shepell’s vice-president of research and integrative solutions, said in an interview. “You signed up for something, [now] it’s something else.” While change in job function can be positive if it’s the employee’s choice, Ms. Allen said, “a job redesign typically means that someone else chose the change, how you function, what you do, how you are measured, how likely it is for you to be successful … it’s a very personal change,” Ms. Allen said. Excerpt from The Globe and Mail, to read the full article visit their website here.

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The EAP support service is intended to help you manage your teams more effectively, increasing performance and promoting engagement. Employees faced with personal or work related issues can often feel unsettled, particularly if they are unsure as to how they should set about resolving their concerns. This can result in any number of issues, whether it is simply loss of concentration, reduced performance in the workplace or changes in behaviour that may impact relationships with their colleagues. Spotting these changes in behaviour and performance is relatively easy, but you may feel unsure how to tackle the situation positively, being supportive whilst still fulfilling your role as a manager. With the support and guidance of our qualified counsellors, we can assist you to constructively challenge poor performance, behaviour or bad attitudes before they can develop. Our main aim is to find a “win-win” situation for both you and your employee. Sometimes it’s as simple as reminding the employee of the EAP service provided and the support available. Other times it may involve coaching to challenge behaviour or dealing with specific performance related issues. The Health Assured service aims to help managers deal with workplace challenges, such as:
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