(Written by Holly Wasechek, FEI Employee Assistance Representative)
In this day and age, we are constantly being bombarded with demands in both our work and personal lives. Sooner or later, these demands will take a toll on us, and ultimately, our companies. High-stress environments can lead to burnout and high turn-over for stressed workers, costing business more in the long run if they are not addressed properly. According to the American Institute of Stress, job stress due to increased absenteeism, employee turnover, diminished productivity and medical expenses costs U.S. businesses more than $300 billion annually.
(Written by Sumaya Kroger, FEI EAP Counselor)
The workplace can be seen as a complex environment consisting of people from all walks of life with different personalities. No workplace is perfect and managers will most likely have to deal with a challenging employee at some point. Just like approaching an issue with a spouse, child, or other family member, it is important to remember some key points in how to address someone whose behavior is disrupting the workplace.
(Written by Jon Buchler, FEI EAP Counselor)
To understand how to best manage during times of corporate change, consider the following scenario:
Company ABC, which manufactures and sells auto parts to distributors and chain stores, is purchased by Company XYZ, a former competitor in the marketplace. There are four inside sales groups of eight sales persons each at Company ABC at the time of the purchase. Each sales group has a manager. Tom manages Sales Group 1 and Sally manages Sales Group 2. Both have a long history as managers for Company ABC and most of their sales associates are “veterans.”
(Written by Jon Buchler, FEI EAP Counselor)
If you spend enough years in the workforce, then you will almost certainly live through a change of ownership of a company. Change of ownership usually means that changes in workforce organization and deployment follow. Even when a change of ownership clearly represents a step forward for the company, the transitional period following a corporate takeover or merger brings anxiety into the workplace.
(Written by Fred Fuges, FEI Account Manager)
In our work with managers and employees experiencing stress in the workplace or their personal lives, we find they often get “lost” in the details and urgency of a current project or problem. They can lose track of what is really important to them, and in effect, lose perspective. We have also seen how calming it can be for them when they find it again.
(Written by Amy Haft, FEI Senior Account Manager)
A recent article in Employee Benefit Advisor suggested that one of the trends to watch for in 2015 is the emergence of fatigue management programs in the workplace. This issue has been on the radar of the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA), a respected resource for workplace wellness, for the past several years. WELCOA previously published an interview with Dr. Joe Leutzinger in WELCOA News & Views entitled “Fighting Fatigue – Overcoming Fatigue and Low-Energy Issues in the Workplace.”
(Written by Marcia O’Boyle, FEI EAP Services Center Manager)
A “high conflict employee” is a term used to identify certain employees who seem to thrive in creating or engaging in drama and conflict in the workplace. Characteristics of high conflict employees include aggressive behavior such as yelling, loud swearing, or intimidating stance; refusing to speak to or look at others though required as part of their duties or sending hostile emails, unfounded accusations, or malicious rumors. These individuals are often preoccupied with believing they are a victim and make an attempt to recruit sympathizers for their situations. They may also be aggressive/passive aggressive, blame others, defensive, or inflexible.
(Written by Janice Lieber, FEI EAP Counselor)
I’m on the younger end of the Baby Boomer generation. As more generations have begun to emerge, I’ve sometimes found it difficult to understand exactly who or what Generation X, Generation Y and now Generation Z are. We all are quite different in our drive, goals, energy and intellect.
(Written by Julie Sharp, FEI Account Manager)
You have two employees who are constantly in conflict, creating a negative work environment for your entire team. The relationship between employees and management in your organization is fraught with tension, distrust and mutual suspicion. You suddenly find your direct report acting guarded and withdrawn in response to your direction for no reason that you can identify. You then find yourself suspicious and acting toward them in a way that is altered and uncomfortable.
(Written by Gary Skaleski, FEI EAP Counselor)
In the spirit of paying it forward, I would like to discuss the work of Mark Andreas, son of two of the most effective communicators and trainers I have had the privilege to meet. Mark is on his way to joining that elite group. What he has to say about communication can be adapted for a wide variety of contexts, including the workplace. The essence of his work has to do with the way we approach and define our relationship with others, and the consequences that can have on effective communication.