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WORK-LIFE BALANCE By: Ma Anjela Legaspi, Natasha Hartslief, Olivia Mania, Habiba Isah Dan Azimi, Kristen Feldtmann and Pauline Shultz. GNP’s 2009 Introduction What is work and life balance? - management/prioritisation - flexibility - control - interests/career goals (Hobson, Delunas & Kesic, 2001) • Individuals each have unique responsibilities; what happens if these are compromised with multiple roles? Overview • The importance of work-life balance. • What work-life balance impacts on. • Strategies to improve your balance. • Communication in relation to stress and work-life balance. • Organisations and Departments. Importance of Work-Life Balance Why is it so Important? • Basically, stress “forces us to deviate from normal functioning”. • A small amount of stress can be a useful tool, which helps us become motivated and efficient. But severe occupational stress impacts negatively both personally and professionally. • Patient Care: Stress has the ability to negatively impact on the quality of care we give our patients. • Job satisfaction: Stress can question our job happiness. • Achieve nursing retention: We have the highest rates of turnover in any other industry! • Nursing occupational stress leads to an increase in morbidity and mortality. • Good balance prevents burnout, which is when we feel emotionally exhausted and our sense of personal accomplishment is diminished. Balance = healthy and satisfying lives both personally and professionally What Work-Life Balance Impacts on • Work-life balance has gained increasing prominence in recent years. • Working hours emerges as one of the issues of great concern. What Work-Life Balance Impacts on • Rotation between nights and days. • Difficulty focusing on even the simplest thing. What Work-Life Balance Impacts on • Burnout and emotional distress. • Stress may also lead to binge eating, smoking and alcohol consumption. • Finally... Strategies For Work Life Balance • DEMOGRAPHICS: According to Australian bureau of statistics in 2001, one in three working adults suffer from work- related stress. • In the world of globalization, economic rationalization, downsizing and longer shift hours there is no getting away from stress, it is the way you deal with it that counts. • Getting the balance right is a challenge to every organsation and individuals. • According to the National occupational health and safety commission’s reports mental stress is 6% of all work injury claimed, up from 3% in 1997/98. Strategies For Work Life Balance For Employers • It is the responsibility of all employers to protect their employees to achieve a better balance between work, family and life commitments. • This can be achieved by creating a positive work life balance” thinking” by treating staff as adults who are balancing their work with commitments. • Be positive about making flexible changes in the work place in all aspects of employee relations. • Create a work life balance policy which enable all employees to balance work and family responsibilities. • Increase employee sense of control and choice. Strategies For Work Life Balance For Employers • Increase awareness of employees entitlements to access flexible working arrangements • Implement flexible work place which include supervisors, managers and senior staff by allowing flexible working hours, rosters and leave arrangements to accommodate family. • Increase the ability to attract and retain skilled employees. • Reducing staff turnover rates and increasing retention in the work place. • Conduct work life balance survey to identify staff needs in balancing work and family commitment. • Incorporate results into human resource management plan and staff work planning arrangement. Reasons Why Staff Leave Their Jobs Staff leave organisation for many reasons such as career advancement, better job opportunities and retirement, these departures may be difficult to prevent. However, another reason staff leave their jobs, particularly women is to find a better work life balance. These include flexible working hours, time off or leave arrangement, a lack of access to suitable childcare arrangement. Undue stress and tension in the workplace which make working life more difficult and unpleasant. Long working hours and unstable rosters. Retention and Attraction Strategy To retain staff and better work life, there is need to provide: Flexible working hours and consultative rostering arrangement to all employees including managers and supervisors. Flexible leave arrangements and purchased leave as well as extended leave without pay. Introduce leave in single days. Increase job mobility within wards and transfer between hospitals, work areas and health services Improving safety wellbeing and respect for all employees in workplace Communication • Recent studies show most stress results from poor communication. Communication • Whilst employers can provide assistance to employees through various benefits and resources, much of the pursuit of balance lies in the hands of the individual and effective communication. Communication • Studies have indicated that nurses experience the highest levels of workplace stress! • In addition, evidence suggests that nurses suffer higher rates of mortality, psychiatric admissions and physical illness than workers outside the healthcare environment! Organisations and Departments • Where to seek professional assistance... Professional Assistance Western Health (WH) • WH acknowledges that staff have a right to work in a safe and supportive environment. • Aims to provide an environment which attracts, develops and retains people who work together to achieve a shared vision of excellence. • WH provides a counselling and psychology program to staff who are affected by stress which affects their work performance and / or wellness. Professional Assistance Western Health (WH) Filomena Bua, a Registered Psychologist with over 20 years clinical experience, manages the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Program and provides on site support to all WH employees across all Campuses. All service delivery is confidential and includes defusing and debriefing either in one-on-one sessions / Group sessions and includes Filomena Bua – CISM / EAP Program follow up and / or referral Manager / Psychologist & Kerri Williams – Employee Services and Remuneration where appropriate. Manager Professional Assistance Western Health (WH) Examples of issues that staff may Examples of issues that may affect staff attend EAP for are, but not limited that may attend CISM are: to: suicide Work issues such as conflict & Tension death of a patient or series of deaths Family issues i.e. Separation / Divorce or actual threatened harm to self or others relationship issues needle stick injury Emotional stress / Personal crisis being taken hostage Loss, Grief & Bereavement exposure to gruesome sights e.g. body Anxiety & Depression / Self esteem parts concerns prolonged and / or unsuccessful Alcohol & Drug problems resuscitation Health equipment failure fire bomb threat Any staff member can self-refer at any time. This service is available Monday to Friday, during business hours. 8345 6583 or 56689. Leave you name and contact details (your call will be responded to ASAP). Professional Assistance Western Health (WH) • Studies have shown that staff who have attended counselling, have not only seen an improvement in their personal lives, but also have experienced an improvement in work performance, work attitude and working relationships. It has shown a reduction in the number of sick days and / or resignations (Elliott and Williams, 2002). Conclusion • Managing stress • The need to provide flexibility, awareness and respect • Voice out your opinion – without communication there’s no compromise • Don’t waste the resources available, use them if need be • We need work and life balance!!! References Achieving work life balance: Retention or Attraction strategies for WA health, viewed 17 October, 09 www.health.wa.gov.au Bost, N., Wallis, M. (2006). The effectiveness of a 15 minute weekly massage in reducing physical and psychological stress in nursing. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 23 (4), 28-33. Brinkman, A. (2002). Occupational stress in hospitals – a nursing perspective. Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand, ?? (?), 21-24. Daggett,L. (2009). Balancing Act: How healthcare travel can help you find that elusive work/ life balance. Healthcare Traveler, March (2009), 29-35. De cieri H, Holmes J, Abbott J, Pettit T 2002, work life balance strategies: progress & problems in Australian organizations. Hobson, C.J., Delunas, L. & Kesic, D. (2001). Compelling evidence of the need for corportate work/life balance initiatives: results from a national survey of stressful life events. Journal of Employment, 38(1), 38-44. Mac Kenzie Siusan 2005, work life balance strategies as a workforce management tool, www.achse.org.au M.S. Elliott & D.I. Williams. (2002). A qualitative evaluation of an employee counselling service from the perspective of client, counsellor and organisation. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, Vol 15 (2), p 201-208. Smith, A., Karavattuveetil, G. (2004). A Balancing Act: Managing your personal and professional life- Part II. Nursing Economics, 22 (1), 41-43. Western Health. (2009). CISM / EAP Western Health Intranet – www.wh.org.au Westwood, C. (2008). Happy nurses: How life coaching can help. Practice Nursing, 19 (3), 149-151.
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