Major changes in the workplace in recent years have been affecting employees everywhere. They constantly have to adapt to new technologies, learn new work methods and deal with uncertainty and how it will affect their future. In the process, they try to balance work with other life events, which at times can be emotionally draining. Several studies report that workplace stress has become a major issue in almost all economic sectors, including higher education. The question is: what are organizations doing to manage the situation?
An ounce of prevention …
Inventor Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” still rings true. His view was that if a problem can be prevented from occurring in the first place, it will save a great deal more in time, effort and cost than it would in trying to repair the damage done.
This is true for stress-related problems as well. More and more, organizations are adopting preventive measures such as health and wellbeing programs like the one at McGill. These measures can help individuals to better manage stress-related situations, both personal and work-related. These measures also help to reduce absenteeism, which can be costly in short and long term disability costs.
Stress management at your disposal
McGill has recognized the importance of introducing preventive measures in managing workplace stress and offers programs and services to help employees manage their health and cope with stress. Among them is a half-day session on stress management, organized by the Organizational Development unit of HR. Says François Labrecque, Talent Management Advisor who gives the course: “It is important to understand what stress is and how we can respond to it, which is the main objective of this half-day workshop.” To find out more about this session, click here. The next Stress Management session is scheduled for October 11. Anyone interested can register when the schedule is announced later this week.
Another program offered by McGill is the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), a confidential service for employees and their families, offering short-term counseling and referral services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at no cost to the employee.
The program is designed to provide employees and their families with direct access to qualified specialists who can help them resolve problems before they affect their health, personal life or job performance. Established in 1984, Longpré & Associates has a broad network of experienced certified professionals in various fields including psychology, social work and counseling, law and health-related matters.
For the University, offering this program is one way of showing it cares about the health and wellbeing of its employees, particularly in view of today’s work environment which is becoming increasingly complex and demanding, according to the research.
“This is not really surprising considering the dizzying pace at which employees are expected to juggle work, family and other personal matters, which can be challenging at the best of times,” explained Lynne B. Gervais, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Resources). “This program is of great value and it is clearly an important preventive measure to managing health-related issues.”
Image: courtesy of: www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net