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									Advanced Human Resource Management:
  Managing Workplace Health & Safety

       Tuesday March 7, 2006
• March 28th and March 30th – alternate class sessions

   – Chapter 2 The Legal Context for HRM (pp. 54-64)
   – OSHA. Add value. To your business. To your workplace. To your life. (Fall
     2002). Job Safety & Health Quarterly, 14 (1)
   – Pearson, C.M., Andersson, L.M., & Porath, C.L. (2000). Assessing and
     attacking workplace incivility. Organizational Dynamics, 29, 123-137.
   – Hantula, D.A., & Hilbert, S.M. (1997). Safety isn’t simple. Academy of
     Management Executive, 11, 82-83.
   – Nelson, D.L. & Burke, R.J. (2000). Women executives: Health, stress, and
     success. Academy of Management Executive, 14, 107-121.
   Occupational Health & Safety
• The identification, evaluation, and control of hazards
  associated with the work environment
• Standards to ensure safe and healthy working conditions
  and provide penalties for violators (e.g., OSHA)
• Based on
   – OSHA (Add value. To your business. To your workplace. To your
     life.), and the film Death on the Job,
• Consider the following
   – Identify some of the discrepancies between what OSHA purports to
     do, and what happens in the real world. Why might these
     discrepancies exist?
   – What might help to rectify and/or avoid such problems?
   – Why do you think that we so rarely hear about workplace fatalities
     and other major accidents?
Occupational Health & Safety
• Employees and employees share
  responsibility for creating and maintaining
  safe and healthy work environments
  – Safety – injury
     • Damage, wound to body, accidents, aggression, etc.
  – Health – illness
     • Condition, disorder caused by exposure, rsi, etc.

• What are the 3 key messages from Hantula &
  Hilbert (1997) Safety isn’t simple?
      Societal Expectations
• To some extent, every society has
  precisely the accident rate it is willing to
• Societal norms about seat-belt use or
  smoking changed not that long ago –
  collective will can be a powerful force
  for change
          Managerial Perspective &
• Managers must deal with a variety of workplace safety issues
   – Protecting the public
   – Providing a safe and healthy work environment
   – Comply with specific legal requirements
• Challenges
   – Extent of employer’s responsibility to maintain a safe and healthy work
   – Understanding the reasons for safety and health laws and the costs and
     obligations they impose on employers
   – Developing an awareness of contemporary health and safety issues,
     including SARS, AIDS, violence against employees, stress, workplace
     smoking, repetitive strain injuries, substance abuse, hazardous
   – Describing the features of safety programs and understand the reasons
     for, and the effects of programs designed to enhance employee welfare
     Workplace Safety and the Law
•        Legislation has 2 specific aims:
1.       Concern with the injured work (Workers’ Compensation)
     •     Provide prompt medical care
     •     Provide income to victims and their dependants
     •     Provide a “no-fault” system
     •     Encourage employees to invest in safety
     •     Promote research on workplace safety
2.       Laws to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses
     •     All Canadian jurisdiction make provisions for 2 kinds of shared
           responsibility activities
           •   Health and safety committees
           •   The right to refuse unsafe work
      Right to Refuse Work
• In general, the right to refuse work does
  not depend on the worker’s ability to
  prove that a hazard exists – the
  standard that applies is having “reason
  to believe” that the situation is unsafe
• Maintaining health and safety on the job
  is a management function as much as a
  legal and ergonomic function, yet often,
  managers fail when it comes to their
  daily duties. What can management do?
   High quality work and injuries:
    Data from Barling, Kelloway and Iverson
• Focused on high quality work; >15,000 employees
• A high quality job is one which provides the
  employee with the means and the opportunity for
  doing great work
• High quality work comprised three different aspects:
   –extensive training
   –job rotation
• Found a direct relationship with injuries
Dupont Canada: Safety Philosophy
• We are committed to excellence in safety and
  occupational health for all people on and off the job
• We are committed to the safe distribution and use of our
  products by our customers
• Safety management is an integral part of our business
  and it built on the belief that all injuries and occupational
  illnesses are preventable; that we are all responsible for
  our own safety and also that of our fellow employees;
  and that managers are responsible for the safety of those
  in their organizations
  Outcome of an unhealthy work
      environment: Stress
• A Meaningless Term?
• “I may not know what it is, but I sure
  know that I’ve got it!”

• A psychological reaction to the
  demands inherent in a stressor that has
  the potential to make a person feel
  tense or anxious
                  What is Stress?

• Perceived causes of              • Reactions to events
  feelings                           – Not being sure of what
  – Fighting traffic                   is expected in a
  – Having too much to do              situation
    (& too little time to do it)     – Feeling anxious or
  – Trying to balance work             uptight
    & family responsibilities        – Feeling pressured
  – Dealing with difficult           – Worrying about the
    people at work                     future
• Usually defined in terms of a situation that creates excessive
  psychological or physiological demands on a person
• The situation is referred to as a stressor
   – Environmental events or conditions that have the potential to
     induce stress
   – Stressors at Work: Diversity, Work/Life Conflict, Sexual
     Harassment, Job Insecurity, Monotony, Lack of Control,
     Interpersonal Stressors, Change
• The outcome is strain
        • Physiological, Psychological, Behavioural, Organizational Symptoms
• Stress is the individual’s subjective experience of the stressor

   STRESSOR                     STRESS                     STRAIN
                  Work Stress:
              Prevalence and Costs
• + 15% experience daily work stress on any given day
• Costs of stress are undoubtedly tremendous:
   – work: absenteeism, accidents, productivity
   – social: health, depression, self-esteem
• 25% of white-collar workers and 40% of blue-collar workers had a
  stress-related absence in 1998
• In the US the cost of stress has been calculated at $350 billion per year
• Stress levels in Canada – nearly double the rate reported a decade ago
• One-fourth of employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in
  their lives. Northwestern National Life
• Three-fourths of employees believe employees have more on-the-job
  stress than a generation ago. Princeton Survey Research Associates
          Stress Prevention & Job
• St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company conducted
  studies on the effects of stress prevention programs in
  hospital settings
• Program activities included (1) employee and
  management education on job stress, (2) changes in
  hospital policies and procedures to reduce organizational
  sources of stress, and (3) establishment of employee
  assistance programs
   – The frequency of medication errors declined by 50% after
     prevention activities were implemented in a 700-bed hospital
   – There was a 70% reduction in malpractice claims in 22 hospitals
     that implemented stress prevention activities
   – There was no reduction in claims in a matched group of 22
     hospitals that did not implement stress prevention activities
              Women executives:
           Health, stress, and success
                  Nelson & Burke (2000)

• Diversity increasing – need to understand impact
  of stress on different groups of employees
• Stressors related to women
  – Barriers to achievement, Tokenism, Overload,
    Downsizing, Expectations, Relationships, Politics,
    Social-sexual behaviour, Work-home conflict,
• Prevention
  – Primary, secondary, & tertiary organizational and
    individual mechanisms
A cause of and reaction to stress:
     workplace aggression
• Workplace aggression – All individual behavior aimed at
  harming others in and around a place of work (Neuman &
  Baron, 1997).
• Key to this type of counterproductive work behavior is that
  it is interpersonal in nature, and there is an intent to harm
  on the part of the perpetrator.

• National statistics suggest that workplace aggression is on
  the rise. These findings are based on numbers of
  grievances filed over time.
• 64% of Canadian workers perceive that their workplace is
  not as safe from aggressive persons as it once was.
    Workplace aggression can
•   Homicide       •   Ostracism
•   Robbery        •   Ignoring
•   Wounding       •   Rude Gestures
•   Kicking        •   Yelling
•   Biting         •   Insulting
•   Spitting       •   Incivility
•   Mobbing        •   Gossiping
•   Bullying       •   Sexual Harassment
•   Intimidation   •   Discrimination
•   Threats        •   Terrorism
   Statistics and trends in workplace
• United States
   – Homicide is one of the leading causes of death on the job
   – Estimated that approximately 1000 workers are murdered on the job each
     year (Bureau of Labour and Statistics, 2000)
   – Nearly 1.5 million people endure non-fatal assaults each year, including
     acts of harassment, intimidation, and physical attacks (over 5500 incidents
     daily). This averages out to one in every 68 workers (based on a workforce
     of 135 million; NIOSH, 1996)
• Canada
   – Data suggests that while workers in Canada are less likely to be murdered
     on the job than workers in the US, workers in Canada are more likely to be
     the victim of a non-fatal assault (International Labor Organization, 1998).
   – These statistics have suggested that 4-5% of workers have been assaulted
     over the last year at work (ILO, 1998).
   – 80% of nurses in Nova Scotia have reported being the victim of violence at
     work over their careers (Nova Scotia Department of Labour, 2003).
     Risk factors and Antecedents
• Risk Factors
   – People who work late shifts, carry money, deal with the public, work
      alone, in a position to deny a request or service, on the “front lines”,
   – Places that are easy to access/have limited security.
   – May occur when consumer is dissatisfied with service.
• Workplace Conditions
   – Perceptions of injustice
   – Over-controlling and/or abusive supervisors
   – Sanctions
   – Previous acts of lower-level aggression
   – Aggressive Culture
• Individual Factors
   – Trait anger, Negative affectivity, Attitudes toward revenge, History of
      aggression, Alcohol/drug abuse
• Individual Outcomes
   – Direct and vicarious targets
   – Diminished psychological well-being and physical well-being.

• Organizational
   – Decrease in employee productivity due to [1] diminished functioning
     of affected employees, and [2] blaming organization for the
     aggression and wanting to retaliate.
   – Withdrawal behavior (absenteeism & turnover). Estimated that in
     the US, people are absent an average of 3.5 days of work for every
     incident of workplace aggression (= $55 million dollars in lost wages
     annually; doesn’t include people who are vicariously exposed).
   – Health care/counseling costs, Compensation/Legal costs, Negative

• Any positive outcomes?
           What can organizations do?
• Screening applicants (?)
• Straightforward performance & reward criteria to clarify expectations and
  reduce the potentially aggressive employee's ability to 'blame' the system
  or supervisor for failures
• Training employees about what kind of behavior is/ is not appropriate;
  Training about organizational policies against aggression
• Zero-Tolerance Policies to provide employees with guidelines of
  acceptable behavior and conduct
• Improved channels for expressing grievances
• A formal disciplinary process ensures that all employees are treated fairly
  and with respect and dignity, especially in the case of terminations
• Assessing risk. Identify problem areas (e.g., sectors where layoffs are
  common or imminent, locations that are difficult to secure), problem people
  (e.g., employees with a history of reprimands, suspensions), and problem
  jobs (e.g., jobs that include a high degree of contact with the public, low
  supervision, and access to weapons)
               Wellness at Work
• New interest in workplace wellness
• Research in North America and elsewhere
• Major psychological and behavioral journals devoted to
  the topic
• Becomes even more critical during turbulent times, both
  for employees and organizations
• Little changes do make a big difference in the long term
• Wellness programs
   – Focus on preventing health problems
      • Helps to identify potential health risks
      • It educates employees about health risks
      • It encourages employees to change their lifestyles
   Elements of a Healthy Workplace
                                               Work roles
      Workload             Work                (clarity, no          Job security/
      and pace           schedule              ambiguity)               future

                                    Healthy and                           Reduced
   Social                                                                  Status
environment                         Productive

 Extrinsic       Workplace           Control                             Commitment
  factors        monitoring          at work                              and trust
   Toward Healthy and Productive
  Work: Some Concluding Thoughts
• Becomes even more critical in turbulent times, both for
  employees and organizations
• Large organizational and job changes are unnecessary, and
  perhaps counterproductive given social and economic
• Given these changes, enhancing employee perceptions of
  control is critical
• Little changes do make a big difference in the long term
• It is easier, and more effective, to focus on jobs than people
• Despite major social and economic changes, it is possible to
  move toward healthy and productive work
• “Little changes make a big difference over the long term”
                   Next Class
• Next Class: Performance Management
  – Text: Chapter 7 Managing Employees’ Performance
  – Reserve: (1) Silverman, S. B., Pogson, C. E., &
    Cober, A. B. (2005). When employees at work don’t
    get it: A model for enhancing individual employee
    change in response to performance feedback.
    Academy of Management Executive, 29, 135-147.
  – (2) Cannon, M.D., & Witherspoon, R. (2005).
    Actionable feedback: Unlocking the power of learning
    and performance improvement. Academy of
    Management Executive, 19, 120-134.

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