The sun is shining – most of the time – the days are longer, we are thinking about Christmas plans and holidays. At the same time we are mentally winding down – perhaps – workloads are increasing for many of us.
The time of year brings happiness at the improved weather and the thought of summer and a break. It also brings more work pressure to get everything done well, and in a timely manner. This work pressure combined with the additional financial pressure of Christmas and holidays can become quite stressful for some people.
While managers cannot control a worker’s stress outside the workplace, they can, and should, be managing the work so that it creates as little stress as possible. This means planning journeys so that there is limited backtracking and adequate time to allow for delays. Loads must be planned so that the order is correct, and that all goods are compatible. Drivers, and other workers, must take their breaks and remain within legal hours. Communication is key to successfully managing busy times. Although it can be challenging to have meetings, they pay off by all parties understanding the work activities. A manager who knows his or her workers will be able to notice early signs of stress; changes in timekeeping, work performance, short tempers, etc. These should be addressed as soon as possible to help the worker, and to make him or her safer at work. While the manager may not be able to assist with personal problems, they may be able to make allowances at work to accommodate the worker’s needs. This may be adapting a worker’s hours or duties, allowing them time off to meet with external support agencies, etc. It is important to be guided by the worker, taking into account the needs of the business.
Stress is a very complicated issue. It may arise from a single source or from many sources. In my experience, people tend to blame their stress on the one thing they have control over. For example, a person having relationship problems may blame the hours of work. Stress,dealt with quickly, is relatively easily managed. This must be done with sensitivity and consideration, with all conversations documented.
How can Safewise help?
We work with organisations that need more health and safety knowledge, or more time, than
they have in-house. For more information, check the website www.safewise.co.nz