Human Resources Director: Why are 'insecure workers' always changing jobs?

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Those who describe themselves as insecure workers report greater levels of stress in all areas including finances, work, health and fitness, family and friendships, according to the lead researcher of Reventure, Dr Lindsay McMillan.

“Insecure workers are twice as likely to become physically sick due to workplace stress and five times more likely to be hospitalised for a week or more because of stress,” added Dr McMillan.

National Safety: Listen To Your Workers

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Work-related stress is known to have a significant impact on the mental health of workers, in some cases leading to psychological injury.

According to Safe Work Australia, workers with high job demands are particularly susceptible to poor mental health. This includes long work hours, emotional effort in responding to distressing situations or distressed or aggressive clients, and high workloads where there is too much to do.

Some industries face much higher levels of stress than others, because of the nature of the work or the conditions under which it must be performed. For instance, new research shows that the psychological stress levels of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workforces are alarmingly high.

Published by the Medical Journal of Australia, the research reveals that more than one-quarter of FIFO workers at remote mining and construction sites rated their psychological stress as high or very high. This was compared with just 10.8% of the general population.

Dr Jennifer Bowers and colleagues from Rural and Remote Health SA, Edith Cowan University in Perth and Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence for Youth Mental Health, administered a wellbeing and lifestyle survey at 10 mining sites in Western and South Australia, with 1124 FIFO workers completing the questionnaire.

"High psychological distress was significantly more likely in workers aged 25-34 years and workers on a two weeks on/ one week off roster. Workers who were very or extremely stressed by their assigned tasks or job, their current relationship or their financial situation were significantly more likely to have high/very high Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) scores than those not stressed by these factors," the researchers wrote.

"Workers who reported stress related to stigmatisation of mental health problems were at the greatest risk of high/very high psychological distress."

The findings of this survey have the potential to inform health and safety policy and practice more broadly, particularly given the growing awareness of the levels of mental distress and suicide rates among workers in this industry.

TECHNOLOGY STRESS

The feeling of constantly having to be switched on is also a cause of stress for many workers, across a broad range of industries. Three quarters of workers report that they feel they can never completely shut off from work.

In addition, a workplace survey from global HR think-tank Reventure found that the number of workers who felt unable to switch off had actually increased by 27% since 2016.

Lead researcher Dr Lindsay McMillan said technology stress is becoming an increasingly common complaint that is not being addressed by employers. 

"73% of workers feel like they cannot turn work off, so they are checking emails and thinking about work because they are connected to their devices," McMillan said.

"If employers do not manage technology stress, employees will burn out and head to the exits, so it is very important for employee retention to tackle technology stress."

WHAT ARE THE SOLUTIONS?

Safe Work Australia has recently published a national guidance on how employers and workers can build a psychologically healthy and safe workplace. The guide aims to help users to identify, assess and control risks to mental health.

Dr Peta Miller, Special Adviser for Safe Work Australia, said that while work-related psychological injury is expensive, knowing what causes harm and taking preventative action is effective.

"Poor psychological safety costs Australian organisations $6 billion per annum in lost productivity. This is primarily because psychological injuries typically require three times more time off work than other injuries," she said.

"Additionally, workplaces with poor psychological working conditions accrue 43% more sick days per month."

Identifying the hazards to good mental health, assessing how severe the risks are and taking steps to eliminate and control the risks are essential steps to building a healthy and safe workplace.

"You can prevent your workers becoming ill or sustaining a psychological injury by responding to early warning signs and incidents — an increase in unplanned absence, uncharacteristic behaviour and workplace conflict are all clues that things aren't quite right," said Miller.

"Most importantly, workers will offer the most valuable insights — they know what causes them harm and will have ideas about how to most effectively address the dangers to their mental health. My advice is to listen to the people doing the work."

Adelaide Advertiser: Good Sleep Can Help Happiness

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The boss may think a worker’s satisfaction depends on the eight hours spent at work but new research finds eight hours away from it may have an equal part to play.

HR think tank Reventure finds workers who do not get enough sleep are likely to not be effective at work, and also dissatisfied within their job.

Its Workplace Wellbeing survey finds more than half of workers who report they do not get enough quality sleep (54 per cent) also are likely to look for a job in the next 12 months.

It compares to the average of 49 per cent of all workers who are looking for a job this year. Lead researcher Dr Lindsay McMillan says those not getting enough quality sleep also are more likely to say they feel as though their life has no sense of meaning.

“Sleep is a key part in fostering wellbeing – more than half of the Australian workers we surveyed believed that having time for rest and relaxation contributes to high levels of personal wellbeing,” he says. “Thirty-seven per cent of dissatisfied sleepers said they were either extremely or very stressed about work and that is something business leaders should not ignore.

“The effect work stress has on sleep can form a vicious cycle and while some large workplaces have implemented innovations such as sleep pods, there are some more basic measures leaders can take.

 “Make sure workloads are manageable and that expectations are reasonable, minimise emails after hours and take a look at overtime hours – these may be eating into your workers’ rest.”

The survey finds satisfied sleepers are happier in all areas of their lives.

Kochie's Business Builders: Want business success? Be grateful, believe in yourself and ask questions

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Wellness is playing an increasing role in the modern workplace. Global HR think tank Reventure’s recent ‘Workplace Wellness’ study revealed 73 per cent of Australians are stressed and unhappy at work. Meanwhile, the ranks of self-employed and small business owners continue to rise. If your workplace is getting you down, is it time you ditched your day job to follow your dreams?

The Australian: Remove toxic employees before they cost your business money

 Managers can remind the whole team of its responsibility for building a good workplace culture.

Managers can remind the whole team of its responsibility for building a good workplace culture.

Bullying, racism and sexual harassment should have no place in the modern Australian workplace, yet bad behaviour is all too ­common.

In 2016 research by Lindsay McMillan, managing director of Reventure, 14 per cent of Australian workers described their workplace environment as “toxic”, and 20 per cent had experienced significant problems in communication with a co-worker or boss. A staggering 50 per cent had experienced serious conflict or negative conduct at work.

Startup Daily: Two thirds of founders 'very' or 'extremely' stressed, report finds

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With startup founders working an average of 64 hours a week and the majority drawing a smaller salary than in their previous role, 96 percent report feeling stressed; two thirds stated they were very or extremely stressed.

The findings have come from a report commissioned by KPMG Australia’s High Growth Ventures and supported by venture capital firms including Blackbird Ventures, AirTree Ventures, and Right Click Capital, which surveyed 70 founders of Australian venture-backed startups.

Third Sector: Workplace bullying reason to increasing turnover rates

A study has found more workers are leaving their jobs due to workplace bullying

Workplace bullying leads to higher and unexplained turnover rates, according to new research conducted by HR group, Reventure.

A second annual study of more than 1,000 Australian workers found that employees are responding to stress bought on by work-life balance, changes to technology and workplace distractions – as well as bullying from internal and external sources.

“The advice from employers is to provide support in industries that face abuse from the public, and for employees to speak up about workplace bullying wherever the source,” Lead researcher of Reventure, Dr Lindsay McMillan, said.

Human Resources Director: Workplace bullying surges in 12 months: report

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Workplace bullying leads to absenteeism, presenteeism and a higher turnover rate which sometimes goes unexplained because most workplace bullying goes unreported, according to Dr Lindsay McMillan, lead researcher of HR think-tank Reventure.

“The advice for employers is to provide support in industries that face abuse from the public, and for employees to speak up about workplace bullying wherever the source,” added Dr McMillan.

Adelaide Advertiser: Feel free to disconnect

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ABOUT three-quarters of workers feel they cannot switch off from work because they are too connected to their mobile devices, research shows.

HR think tank Reventure lead researcher Dr Lindsay McMillan says 73 per cent of workers are thinking about work and checking emails outside of working hours.

It is leading to many workers thinking technology is having a big effect on the workplace, with two-thirds of workers agreeing the workplace is becoming more complex and changing at a faster rate than ever. It compares to 54 per cent who believed so in 2016.

“It is up to employers to follow the lead of countries implementing the ‘right to disconnect’, which limits and regulates emails outside of working hours and make expectations around work clear,” he says.

My Business: Employers wary amid massive turnover forecasts

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Employers are expecting their turnover rates to soar by 57 per cent in 2018, according to a new survey, suggesting that as many as 1.8 million Australians will abandon their current job in search of greener pastures.

The astounding figures are based on a survey of 460 hiring managers from businesses Australia wide by recruitment firm Robert Half.

Tech stress takes its toll

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The number of Australian workers stressed because of technology has increased by 27 per cent since 2016, according to the latest workplace survey from global HR think-tank Reventure.
 
Seventy-three per cent of Australian workers said they felt constantly connected to work because of technology and couldn't ever completely shut off from it – compared to only 46 per cent in 2016.

Why wellness has become a top CFO priority

 Why wellness has become a top CFO priority

Why wellness has become a top CFO priority

Australians like to think we’re the most laid-back country on earth but, as a nation, we’re increasingly stressed out.

Recent research from Reventure found 73 per cent of Australians feel anxious at work, with 85 per cent believing their employer is obliged to address it. Given the broader cost and performance implications, responsibility no longer sits exclusively in the HR department.

Human Resources Director: Is your workplace suffering from 'tech stress'?

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Bullying, deadlines and demanding managers are just some of the major triggers of stress in the workplace. But in 2018, another major source of stress is emerging.

Technology stress is becoming an increasingly common complaint that is not being addressed by employers, according to Dr Lindsay McMillan, lead researcher of HR think-tank Reventure.

Technology contributing to workplace stress, study finds

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Almost three-quarters of Australian workers are feeling stressed out by technology, according to new research.

The latest workplace survey from global HR think-tank Reventure shows that 73% of workers feel constantly connected to technology and cannot completely shut off from it — an increase of 27% since 2016.

Adelaide Advertiser: All well and good - but does it work?

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WELLBEING may be a common buzz word in the work place but before implementing such a program, leaders should consider if they are hindering or helping their staff.

Research from the Workplace Wellbeing report finds wellbeing programs have to be more meaningful than just "work perks" to improve wellbeing.

Dr Lindsay McMillan, lead researcher at HR think tank Reventure, urges bosses to plan carefully before embarking on a wellbeing program.

WHAT IS WELLBEING?

Three-quarters of workers believe wellbeing is not just mental.

"Encourage both physical and mental health side-by-side," McMillan says.

WILL WORKERS HAVE TIME?

Unrealistic expectations over workload is the greatest negative impact on wellbeing for 51 per cent of workers.

"If workers are drowning in more deadlines than there are hours in the day, taking any time to talk about workplace wellbeing is going to sound incredibly tone-deaf," McMillan says.

HOW CAN IT WORK?

Low team morale hits 38 per cent of workers hardest in their day-to-day work.

"Boost morale with team-oriented events - don't neglect socialising from your overall workplace wellbeing plan," he says.

"However small, find a balance that works for your team - it might be a sports team or it might be an office lunch to get the team together and celebrate your successes."

WHERE IS STRESS COMING FROM?

Family demands is the biggest stress factor in life for 51 per cent of workers.

"For those with caring responsibilities, making it easier for them to prioritise family commitments will go some way to alleviate stress," McMillan says.

"Consider whether your workplace needs an employee assistance program that is available to family members too."

WHAT DO THEY THINK?

Most (74 per cent) workers believe wellbeing programs are worth the time and money. "Have confidence in the knowledge that this investment is worth it for employees," he says.

Adelaide Advertiser: Switched on to wellbeing

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TWO in five workplaces have a wellbeing program in place for staff, as employers realise the importance to their organisation of helping staff to be healthy.

A Future That Works campaign lead researcher Dr Lindsay McMillan says wellbeing is playing an increasing role in today's work landscape, and workplaces that wish to remain competitive will need to be able to deliver it.

"Wellbeing is not a buzzword for any new HR strategy, but rather it requires factoring in worker's evolving needs in our rapidly-changing work landscape," McMillan says.

"Some Australian workplaces have recognised this rising trend and have addressed it with workplace wellbeing programs. In fact, 43 per cent of Australian workers claim their workplace offers a wellbeing program."

Against metrics: how measuring performance by numbers backfires

 From Jacques Tati’s  Playtime  (1967).  Image courtesy Les Films de Mon Oncle – Specta Films CEPEC

From Jacques Tati’s Playtime (1967). Image courtesy Les Films de Mon Oncle – Specta Films CEPEC

More and more companies, government agencies, educational institutions and philanthropic organisations are today in the grip of a new phenomenon. I’ve termed it ‘metric fixation’. The key components of metric fixation are the belief that it is possible – and desirable – to replace professional judgment (acquired through personal experience and talent) with numerical indicators of comparative performance based upon standardised data (metrics); and that the best way to motivate people within these organisations is by attaching rewards and penalties to their measured performance. 

The rewards can be monetary, in the form of pay for performance, say, or reputational, in the form of college rankings, hospital ratings, surgical report cards and so on. But the most dramatic negative effect of metric fixation is its propensity to incentivise gaming: that is, encouraging professionals to maximise the metrics in ways that are at odds with the larger purpose of the organisation. If the rate of major crimes in a district becomes the metric according to which police officers are promoted, then some officers will respond by simply not recording crimes or downgrading them from major offences to misdemeanours. Or take the case of surgeons. When the metrics of success and failure are made public – affecting their reputation and income – some surgeons will improve their metric scores by refusing to operate on patients with more complex problems, whose surgical outcomes are more likely to be negative. Who suffers? The patients who don’t get operated upon.

Wellness Daily: Apparently Millennials aren't motivated by money

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New research suggests that, contrary to popular portrayals as materialistic, young Australians do not prioritise income to the extent that older generations do. 

A survey of more than 1,000 Australian workers by human resources thinktank Reventure showed that less than half (48 per cent) of Millennials see financial security as important in ensuring high levels of personal wellbeing, compared to 60 per cent of Boomers and 54 per cent of Gen X. 

Stressful workplace? It Could Be Ruining Your Sleep

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Workplace stress keeping you up at night? Almost 40 per cent of Australian workers dissatisfied with their sleep.

One workplace expert is urging workers to prioritise sleep on World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April to minimise the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation in the workplace.