Recent events such as the coronavirus pandemic have impacted the business landscape worldwide, and Australia is no exception. Employees continue to face unrelenting stresses, problems and mental health issues, and not all employers offer the support and assistance required. Psychologists can ensure that organisations behave in an ethical, caring and legally compliant manner while prioritising the wellbeing of employees at all times.

The pressures of a changing work landscape

A large number of organisations have come under public and legal scrutiny in recent years for unfair treatment of their employees in terms of work demand, long work hours, unrealistic expectations, abusive supervision styles, unstable work structures, and more. The rapid evolution of technology and globalisation has contributed significantly to the more intense nature of work, and rising concerns about employee wellbeing and mental health have led to an increased demand for the services of psychologists.

The Australian business landscape has seen many changes such as gig economies (short-term temporary jobs), remote working, isolation, work pressure and blurring of work–life boundaries, all of which have spiked stress levels overall. Leaders are struggling with a new, unfamiliar territory involving remote teams, diverse employees, virtual work ecosystems, and changed customer delivery services. Casual labour-hire, a spike in freelancing services, temporary contracts, and resized workforces have increased worker vulnerability to poor work conditions, less-than-desirable remuneration, and exploitative work arrangements.

Organisations are looking to cut costs and hassles by outsourcing employment to labour providers. Last-minute roster changes and short notice periods without explanation have become commonplace occurrences. Outsourcing employment also reduces the organisation’s obligations and responsibilities to their employees. For example, if the market demand for their goods or services decreases, they can dismiss a large portion of their employees without legal consequences. Employees hired through labour-hire companies suffer from extreme job insecurity, unfair treatment, and lack of access to perks such as leave and bonuses.

They also lack the opportunity to receive hands-on training, knowledge, or skills to improve their future employment prospects. For example, many well-known global food chains employ teenage or younger workers in a bid to drive down costs. Similarly, many younger workers might not raise their voices against neglect or discriminatory treatment due to fear of unpleasant consequences. These factors can impact employee mental health to a large extent.

How psychologists can help

Regardless of the line of business, an employer’s desire for success, profits and productivity should not outweigh their obligation to their employees. Callous, moneyminded employers cause workers a great deal of stress and cost the Australian economy more than $10 billion every year. The primary stressor for Australian workers is money-related anxiety. Inconsistent incomes, unstable employment, and job insecurity top the list of mental health stresses.

Hiring the services of a psychologist can help your organisation resolve fundamental issues, address mental health problems, facilitate communication and re-engage your employees.

Psychology seeks to promote employee satisfaction, which in turn boosts productivity and retention. They can improve company culture, reduce psychosocial hazards and deliver services based on the company’s shared values, beliefs, and practices. Psychologists can help your organisation enjoy success and growth while preserving employee health and wellbeing at the same time.

In addition to improving company culture, psychologists can also help in the following areas:

Recruitment and retention

Psychologists can help organisations hire the right workers according to the environment and job role. They can also provide strategies that keep employees satisfied, so they are less likely to leave.

Improved  engagement and productivity

A workplace characterised by unclear protocols, harassment, and unsafe conditions can lead to unproductive, unhappy employees. Psychologists can help employees work together more effectively and help the management implement better practices to boost productivity.

Ensuring better work–life practices

A lopsided work–life balance often leads to resentment and burnout. Psychologists can help identify areas of stress and pave the way for reduced work and increased leisure.

Psychologists help create norms that focus on supporting the welfare and health of employees rather than simply perceiving them as a means to an end.

Our qualified professional psychologists at ESN provide a comprehensive range of tailored consulting services that address poor work ethics, psychosocial hazards, fatigue, unsafe practices, role conflict, and high turnover. We can help create a happier, more productive, and safer environment for your employees while preserving legal compliance at the same time.

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