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Stress Issues: Work and Life Balance

Stress Issues: Work and Life Balance

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Stress Issues: Work and Life Balance

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  1. Stress Issues:Work and Life Balance Presentation to: McGill UniversityManagement Forum Steering Committee Meeting November 12, 2002 Kimberley Bachmann The Conference Board of Canada

  2. Presentation Outline • The context • Key findings from the research • Challenges for organizations

  3. Tightening Labour Markets • Scarce skills/Impending retirements • Recruitment challenges • Need to retain talent

  4. Retirement Trends • Overall, since 1987, the median age of retirement has fallen from 65 to 60. • Early retirement (before age 60) as a percentage of all retirees: • 1987 to 1990: 29% • 1997 to 2000: 43% Source: Statistics Canada.

  5. What’s Driving People to Retire? • Frustration with the work environment • Excessive workload • Desire for a better work-life balance Source: Association of Public Service Executives Survey, 2001.

  6. Trends at McGill • Over the past few years, there has been a steady reduction in administrative positions due to downsizing, budget cuts and early retirements. • It is expected that between 35% and 50% of managers will be retiring over the next decade. Source: McGill University

  7. Increases in Enrolment • Overall, full-time enrolment is expected to increase 20% to 30% by 2011. • This growth could translate into as many as 200,000 more university students over the next decade. Source: AUCC, Trends in Higher Education 2002..

  8. The Results? • Increased workloads • Lack of back-up staff to relieve the pressures • Increases in stresslevels, burnout and low morale

  9. Organizational Challenges(percentage reporting minor/major problems) Source: The Conference Board of Canada.

  10. Organizational Response: The Good News • Results of the 1999 survey of employers suggest considerable movement over the past 10 years in areas such as: • childcare • eldercare • EAPs, stress management, wellness • flex time and flex space

  11. Organizational Response:The Not so Good News • Very few are focusing on: • culture change • the manager’s role • understanding how the work environment itself can contribute to the health and well-being of workers

  12. Understanding Health at Work Psychosocial work environment Healthy work environment Physical work environment Individual health practices

  13. Respect & appreciation Being heard and listened to Sense of self-worth Sense of belonging to a meaningful and supportive work group Learning and challenge Role clarity Basic Mental Health Needsin the Workplace Source: Adapted from M. Shain, Best Advice on Stress Risk Management in the Workplace

  14. Work overload and time pressures Lack of influence over day-to-day work Lack of training Poor communication Too little or too much responsibility Ambiguity Lack of status rewards Discrimination/harassment Role overload Work Factors That Threaten Well-Being Source: Adapted from M. Shain, Best Advice on Stress Risk Management in the Workplace

  15. Understanding Health at WorkThe Demand/Control Model - High JobPressure Low Job Control HomeStress SocialSupport + + = Excessive Strain Increased Risk to Mental and Physical Health Anxiety,Depression,Hostility Illnesses,Injuries, Infections Substanceabuse

  16. The Work-Life Challenge

  17. Stress in Balancing Work-Life1989 and 1999 Source: The Conference Board of Canada.

  18. Difficulty Balancing Work-Life1989 and 1999 Source: The Conference Board of Canada.

  19. 1. Children are older 2. Changed jobs 3. Become better organized/ more efficient 4. Grown older/matured 1. Had children in the past five years 2. Taken on more responsibility at work 3. Busier/increased demands/more pressure 4. Change in hours of work Top Reasons for Change in Work-Life Balance Worsened Improved

  20. Eldercare • 23 percent provide some form of support/care to an elderly family member • Most help out only occasionally - dropping in, assisting in a crisis, providing financial advice • Others - almost 25 percent - provide more intense “personal care”

  21. And, Then There is the Sandwich Generation……. • 15 percent of caregivers also have children at home • They are particularly susceptible to experiencing difficulty balancing and stress

  22. Stress and Difficulty in Balancing by Form of Dependant Care Source: The Conference Board of Canada.

  23. Impact of Work-Life on Work Tasks(percentage of respondents reporting major/minor problems) Source: The Conference Board of Canada.

  24. Impact of Work/Life Conflict on Organization Source: The Conference Board of Canada.

  25. Understanding Health at WorkThe Demand/Control Model - High JobPressure Low Job Control HomeStress SocialSupport + + = Excessive Strain Increased Risk to Mental and Physical Health Anxiety,Depression,Hostility Illnesses,Injuries, Infections Substanceabuse

  26. Giving Employees More Control Source: Statistics Canada, WES: Compendium, 2001.

  27. Dealing With Demands: Workload Issues • 70 per cent of respondents ask about workload issues in their employee opinion survey • Only 38 per cent have undertaken an exploration of workload issues and how to solve them Source: The Conference Board of Canada, 1999.

  28. Workload: Dealing With Document Burden “I always used to go into the office early, but now I have to, simply to stay abreast of the overwhelming flood of documents. The first two hours every day are now spent clearing off yesterday’s backlog.” Source: P. Richardson, Coping with Crisis in the Office

  29. Document Burden - A Growing Concern • A study of executives and managers found that on average, over 50% of their time was spent dealing with documents. • Forty per cent of this time was perceived to be of little or no value. Source: P. Richardson, Coping with Crisis in the Office

  30. Demand Priority setting process Change work processes Identify and eliminate redundancy Control Input into: work processes structure changes Individual development plan Reducing Stressors - One Organization’s Efforts

  31. Understanding Health at WorkThe Demand/Control Model - High JobPressure Low Job Control HomeStress SocialSupport + + = Excessive Strain Increased Risk to Mental and Physical Health Anxiety,Depression,Hostility Illnesses,Injuries, Infections Substanceabuse

  32. Social Support:Managers Are Important! • “Make” or “break” the work experience of staff • Help or hinder staff deal with work-life and workload issues • Translate the organizational culture and are the gatekeepers to company programs/initiatives

  33. In my organization, you are expected to leave problems at the door Source: The Conference Board of Canada, 1999.

  34. Leadership matters! “People leave their managers, not their organizations.” • 41% leave because of dissatisfaction with management practices (70% under 29) • 22% leave because of lack of direction in the organization Source: William M. Mercer Ltd.

  35. Building Leadership Capacity • It takes more than training & development. • Managers need to be recognized and rewarded for their contributions to the organization.

  36. Health at Work:Effort/Reward Model + = High Effort Low Reward Increased Strain Increased Risk of: Mental Health Problems Physical Health Problems

  37. Effort time pressures responsibility interruptions physical demands span of control Reward salary respect status promotion prospects Effort and Reward

  38. Recognizing Managers “Our organization is great at recognizing employees - we have a formal recognition program and managers are encouraged to practice small acts of recognition and thanks on a daily basis. But when it comes to us, executives get busy and forget that we too like to feel that we are valued.” Source: The Conference Board of Canada study of middle managers, in press.

  39. Recognizing and Rewarding Managers • It’s about more than money • Characteristics of good recognition programs: • personal • sincere • applicable to the manager’s own situation Source: The Conference Board of Canada study of middle managers, in press.

  40. Bringing it all together

  41. The Underlying Framework Trust Fairness Purpose

  42. Trust “The major assistance would be an understanding attitude towards employees rather than the current approach, which denies the existence of family and promotes the attitude that any family obligation during work hours is an indicator of not being a good employee.”

  43. In my organization, you are expected to leave your personal problems at the door Source: The Conference Board of Canada, 1999.

  44. Fairness 2 Components: • Distributive - who get what, and when • Procedural - the process through which decisions are made

  45. Sense of Purpose • Understanding of the vision, mission and values • Understanding of how an individual contributes to the achievement of the vision, mission and values

  46. Lessons Learned • Work-life and stress issues are related to how work is managed and how decisions are made within an organization • Programs must be teamed with efforts to change the culture of the organization • Managers play a pivotal role - accountability and infrastructure support are essential • Real benefits accrue to organizations who make a commitment and respond