Archive for 'people'

Mental Health In The Workplace

1 in 6 Australians will experience a mental illness at some point in their lives. Regardless of the severity of the condition, your mental health can be either a positive or a debilitating force on you and affect your ability to be productive.

In many cases, your work and workplace can also become a significant source of stress, severely impacting on pre-existing mental health conditions of yourself and your colleagues. If you are in a high-pressure situation or environment, you might liken it to a pressure cooker; too much heat, and you might have a bit of an explosion on your hands.

Suppose you work while suffering from poor mental health. In that case, you may exhibit signs of presenteeism, poor productivity and a higher likelihood of exiting your profession (leading to higher turnover rates for your employer).

That being said, there is no obligation on your part to inform your employer of your mental health condition if it does not affect you and your performance of your role. Many of us experience low levels of anxiety, stress or depression in our day to day lives and can perform adequately regardless. However, you will need to tell your employer if or when your mental health condition:

  • It affects how you carry out your job requirements – this will allow your employer to identify reasonable adjustments to assist you in performing the role regardless.
  • It affects the health and/or safety of you and your colleagues
  • Is affected or could be affected by the nature of your work – failure to disclose a mental illness may disentitle an employee to workers compensation should they suffer any recurrence, aggravation or exacerbation of a preexisting mental illness.

Though you may be tempted to pull a sick day on a day where your mental health isn’t 100% (and it might be the right solution to your particular mental health situation), you can also discuss with your employer (if comfortable with doing so) ways in which you can adjust your duties within reason and benefit from remaining there.

Individuals frequently identify work as providing several important outcomes, including a sense of purpose, acceptance within society, and development opportunities. It may play a pivotal role in a person’s recovery from mental health difficulties.

Concerned About Someone In Your Workplace? 

If you have noticed that things seem amiss with a colleague or even your employer, it’s essential to check in regularly with them. By having regular, informal conversations with your colleagues and employer, you build a sense of belonging and connectedness within the team. It also makes it easier for you to notice changes in behaviour that might not otherwise be expressed vocally, and having an informal relationship based on regular and casual conversations can make it easier to share “difficult” conversations with you.

 

Posted on 18 June '21 by , under people. No Comments.

Mental Health In The Workplace

1 in 6 Australians will experience a mental illness at some point in their lives. Regardless of the severity of the condition, your mental health can be either a positive or a debilitating force on you and affect your ability to be productive.

In many cases, your work and workplace can also become a significant source of stress, severely impacting on pre-existing mental health conditions of yourself and your colleagues. If you are in a high-pressure situation or environment, you might liken it to a pressure cooker; too much heat, and you might have a bit of an explosion on your hands.

Suppose you work while suffering from poor mental health. In that case, you may exhibit signs of presenteeism, poor productivity and a higher likelihood of exiting your profession (leading to higher turnover rates for your employer).

That being said, there is no obligation on your part to inform your employer of your mental health condition if it does not affect you and your performance of your role. Many of us experience low levels of anxiety, stress or depression in our day to day lives and can perform adequately regardless. However, you will need to tell your employer if or when your mental health condition:

  • It affects how you carry out your job requirements – this will allow your employer to identify reasonable adjustments to assist you in performing the role regardless.
  • It affects the health and/or safety of you and your colleagues
  • Is affected or could be affected by the nature of your work – failure to disclose a mental illness may disentitle an employee to workers compensation should they suffer any recurrence, aggravation or exacerbation of a preexisting mental illness.

Though you may be tempted to pull a sick day on a day where your mental health isn’t 100% (and it might be the right solution to your particular mental health situation), you can also discuss with your employer (if comfortable with doing so) ways in which you can adjust your duties within reason and benefit from remaining there.

Individuals frequently identify work as providing several important outcomes, including a sense of purpose, acceptance within society, and development opportunities. It may play a pivotal role in a person’s recovery from mental health difficulties.

Concerned About Someone In Your Workplace? 

If you have noticed that things seem amiss with a colleague or even your employer, it’s essential to check in regularly with them. By having regular, informal conversations with your colleagues and employer, you build a sense of belonging and connectedness within the team. It also makes it easier for you to notice changes in behaviour that might not otherwise be expressed vocally, and having an informal relationship based on regular and casual conversations can make it easier to share “difficult” conversations with you.

Posted on 17 June '21 by , under people. No Comments.

Maximise Your Performance With The Flow State.

Flow is known as a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter and that the experience of being involved is so enjoyable that people will continue to do so (even at high cost) for the sheer sake of doing it. The flow state can occur across any industry and at any level.

Reaching the flow state means that you are at your most productive and can produce higher-quality results in your output work. If you can achieve this state while working, you are operating at your peak performance and are more likely to create your best work.

The chances are that you may have already experienced a flow state while at work but not been aware that it has happened. If you’ve experienced a state of “no thought” and a quietening of your mind while performing tasks, you may have entered into a flow state.

With the focus and clarity afforded to you by a flow state, tasks that can typically take days to complete may only take hours while performing under its influence.

How To Create A Flow State

A flow state cannot be achieved while under or in a state of pressure, as outside stresses and anxiety reduce productivity. Learning how to manage those is key to creating the environment for flow states to occur.

You also need to be challenged without being overwhelmed by the task. Achieving a flow state relies on a state of constant improvement, where the challenge is enough to keep you engaged without inducing stress.

It’s also important to reframe your brain’s reaction to stress – it’s important to channel the pressures and stress of high-intensity roles or jobs and reframe them into positive reactions that can improve your ability to enter the flow state.

Achieving flow can assist in your productivity and performance levels. When trying to work out the trigger for entering into your flow state, reflect on what was happening, what you were doing and how you felt during the period that it occurred.

You can better your chances of invoking the flow state through:

  • Quieting the mind by applying relaxation techniques
  • Creating an environment free of distractions or focus-breakers, such as turning your phone off
  • Associating items/objects with the feeling of the flow states (e.g. a photographer might get into flow states better when behind their camera)

Posted on 16 May '21 by , under people. No Comments.

Looking To Ace Your Next Job Interview?

If you’re in the process of looking for work, you may not be a stranger to the face-to-face (or zoom) job interview.

However, regardless of how well you may present on your resume, it is the impression that you leave on the interviewer that can be the critical determining factor in whether or not you get hired. Being unprepared can be just as

To avoid feeling as though you cannot proceed past the interview phase and become a part of the workforce, here are some job interview tips you can employ.

Figure Out What The Employer Is Looking For

If you’ve applied for a job and made it through to the interview stage, it’s pretty obvious that you have something that the employer is looking for. Prior to the interview, go back to the original job description, and review it to make sure you understand what they are looking for specifically. Align your competencies with what they have listed as necessary to the job.

Narrowing it down further can help you address whether or not there may be criteria missing that they have outlined and if so, determine whether or not you can make up for that lacking point. If they are after someone with video-editing skills that you currently lack, for example, is there a way that you can learn that and convey it to your potential employers in the interview?

Build Stories Around The Skills/Experiences They’re Looking For

It’s all well and good to write that you have a particular skill on your resume, or that you worked previously at a certain company, but what employers are looking for is examples of how you’ve employed that skill, or what that experience that you’ve listed has taught you.

If, for example, you were applying for a receptionist role and had listed that you had worked in a jewelry store as an attendant – rather than simply list out your skill of customer service and interaction to the interviewer, you could give them an example of how you employed that skill in a situation that resulted in a positive outcome.

Practice Your Stories And What You’re Going To Say

Rehearsing your job interview can be just as useful to you as a well-crafted resume when getting hired for a position. Try practicing potential questions with a friend, and answer them as you would in a regular job interview. Doing so can help prompt your memory when faced with similar questions, and prevent you from freezing up during the actual interview.


Research The People Who Will Interview You

It’s important to conduct research into the company/organisation that you’ve been offered an interview with, beyond a quick Google search on your phone. Check out the official website to learn more about what they offer in terms of services and products, view their social media, and if possible, have a look at their current and past employees on LinkedIn.

Doing so gives you insight as to who they have employed previously, and what their experience was. Don’t overstep though – sending a message to an employee about what it’s like working for the company might seem like a good idea, but could be construed as intrusive. Use common sense when it comes to researching.

Posted on 14 May '21 by , under people. No Comments.

Do You Maximise Or Satisfice When Making Your Decisions?

Critical decisions are often made in the workplace. It’s highly likely that at one point or another, a decision has had to be made by you to result in an outcome that could impact performance or some other aspect of the business.

Generally there are two ways in which people make decisions. These are known as maximising or satisficing, and both have drastically different approaches and impacts for how individuals make decisions.

Those who use maximising in their decision making process are more likely to weigh/compare choices to carefully assess which is the best one.

When a decision is made by a maximiser, often it’s a well-informed one that could potentially lead to a better outcome overall. Their decisions may look the most logical or efficient as their time has been spent deliberating potential results and possibilities.

A drawback to the maximiser process is that a lot of time can be wasted in the process of getting it right. Decision paralysis and regret is also a common occurrence for those who overthink their options.

Satisficers are those who would prefer to make decisions quickly – the decision is made promptly, and is usually acceptable but not the best choice or course of action that could be taken. In the workplace, it’s also commonly known as the “good enough” approach.

Those who can be classified as satisficers in the way they decide may make decisions faster, weigh up less options when comparing and go more so with their gut feeling on what is appropriate. Satisficed decisions may not necessarily be the best approach to a problem, but is a solution that is provided more quickly.

Workplace decision-making could have various outcomes, depending on the approach taken towards them. Deciding on what kind of coffee to have during a break is appropriate for satisficing, but figuring out the best way to handle a business meeting with an important client is probably better suited to a maximised decision-making process. It is always necessary to consider the gravity of the choice needing to be made, and what could be impacted if these choices aren’t made in accordance with this.

Posted on 20 April '21 by , under people. No Comments.

How To Do Deal With Presenteeism At Work

Sometimes, being absent from work is better for you and the business you work for than if you were present that day. 

When someone shows up to work but is unproductive as a result of feeling unwell, are distracted by personal issues, or are disengaged from their role, it’s known as presenteeism. 

Presenteeism is difficult to detect among employees as they may appear to be working but can be producing less overall over a period of time than they otherwise would. It’s a fairly common issue across many industries in the workforce, where productivity is lost while these staff underperform. 

One of the most common causes of presenteeism is ‘company culture’. In situations where you may be ill or would be better off not going to work, you may feel an invisible pressure to go into work regardless. This may be because not going in would place strain on your teammates,  taking time off is frowned upon, or that time-sensitive work may not be completed if you were absent. There is a cultural expectation surrounding workplaces about attendance at work – so what can be done to address this?

To combat this, consider: 

  • If working full or part-time, you are entitled to taking sick days – using these for illness or for mental health recovery can benefit you and your employer in the long run.
  • Using unused leave time for ‘recovery breaks’ to let you regain yourself
  • Destigmatising the concept of taking time off in the workplace
  • Discussing alternative ways for you to work to prevent burnout and continued presenteeism

As an employee, it is important that you understand your own value and worth – a day off for you is worth more to the employer than a day worked while sick. Discuss with your employer best practices for ensuring that you can be at your best, and whether or not it might be beneficial to take advantage of the proposed sick days above.

Posted on 13 April '21 by , under people. No Comments.

How to manage underperformance in the workplace

Employees are the key ingredient to the success of any business or organisation – but what should employers do if they aren’t performing as well as they should?

Underperformance can occur when an employee is failing to do their job properly, or is being disruptive within the workplace and impacting those around them. It may be a result of:

  • Goals and standards are unclear to the employee, so they are unaware of what’s expected of them
  • Lack of knowledge or skills for the job
  • The employee is unsure if they are meeting the requirements
  • Personal motivation or confidence are low
  • Personal issues (family stress, physical and/or mental health problems or drug/alcohol issues)
  • Low workplace morale/a poor work environment
  • Interpersonal differences or cultural misunderstandings
  • Workplace bullying

Underperforming by employees or poor performance at work can include:

  • Not performing duties, or not performing duties to the required standard
  • Displaying negative or disruptive behaviour in the workplace
  • Failing to comply with workplace policies, rules or procedures

The best way to address an issue like this and to ensure that all are performing to their best is to have regular meetings and discussions about performance and goals. Providing feedback and support can also assist people in meeting their responsibilities and performance expectations while working.

Benefits of addressing performance issues by taking a best practice approach to your business or organisation can include:

  • More harmonious and higher performing workplace
  • Maximising an employee’s individual performance
  • Building a culture in the workplace of continuous improvement of skills and further developing them
  • Higher levels of employee engagement and
  • Avoidance of legal disputes, such as unfair dismissal or bullying claims

Here’s a simple 5 step approach to handling underperformance:

  1. Identify the problem – note down behaviors, issues and occurrences in the workplace by the employee and why it is an issue that needs to be addressed.
  2. Assess and analyse – consider how serious the issue is, how long the problem has been in the workplace, and what the gap is between what’s expected and what’s being delivered.
  3. Meet with the employee – Inform the employee of what the meeting will be about beforehand so that they can prepare for it. Make sure that the meeting is held confidentially and in private.
  4. Agree on a solution – Work together with the employee to come up with solutions; employees and employers should also agree to a performance plan that records these solutions for employees to work towards.
  5. Monitor and Review – Once a plan is in place, make sure that the employee follows through. Ensure any training or support is provided that was promised, continue giving feedback and encouragement and plan a follow up meeting to see how they are travelling.

https://www.fairwork.gov.au/tools-and-resources/best-practice-guides/managing-underperformance

Posted on 18 March '21 by , under people. No Comments.

Ways you can manage your stress

There are various causes of stress that make it difficult to have just one method of stress management. There are 4 methods you can use in response to stress:

  • Avoid: Sometimes the causes of our stress are avoidable. For example, if being around certain people makes you feel stressed because of the way they behave, then you should avoid being in the same vicinity as them where possible
  • Alter: You may not be able to avoid a situation, but try to find ways of altering it. For example, you might stress during the exam period and having other people around might make it harder for you to focus. Communicate with your roommates or family members to let them know how you feel so that you can schedule your study times better. 
  • Adapt: Certain scenarios are unavoidable so the best response might be to adapt to them. You can reframe the stressor by looking at the big picture perspective. For example, you might be stressed out by the idea of going to an interview, but thinking of it as a small step in the direction towards working in a job you like might make it easier. 
  • Accept: Although this is the last resort, you might have to accept certain things you cannot change. Save yourself the frustration of not being able to change the situation. You can try to talk to the people involved to express to them how you feel so that you have a support system. 

Posted on 17 February '21 by , under people. No Comments.

When it’s okay to ask your coworkers for help

People often perceive asking for help as a weakness, but sometimes, asking for help demonstrates strength. It shows self-awareness and a willingness to learn and grow. 

If you find yourself in the following situations, you should consider asking for assistance: 

You don’t know what you’re doing

This sounds straightforward, but if you’ve been given a task that you haven’t done before and you’re struggling, it is worthwhile to approach someone for assistance. You could ask your manager for clarification about the task, or some support in completing the task. There is no point in trying to repeatedly re-attempt the task if you have no idea what you are trying to achieve. This is not an effective way to spend your time, and you will end up stressing yourself out more than anything else. 

When there is too much work

Although well-intentioned, being overly enthusiastic about your work practices can cause trouble. Having too much work on your hands will prevent you from completing it to the best standard and leave you overwhelmed. In this scenario, asking coworkers to help you can seem as though you are shirking responsibilities that you chose to take, but it is more likely that people have been in similar situations to you. However, make sure that the next time you take on more responsibilities, you don’t take on more than you can handle. 

When you make a mistake

It is inevitable that you make a mistake at some point – it is part of being human. But managing your response is where it counts. Rather than trying to sweep it under the rug, you talking to someone about how you could fix it is a much better response. You will not be the first person to make a mistake and there will be others after you that will make mistakes after you. 

Posted on 14 February '21 by , under people. No Comments.

Overcoming public speaking anxiety in the workplace

There will come a time, where no matter how much you despise it, you will need to speak in front of an audience. Being afraid of public speaking is fairly common and there are resources and programs which may help you overcome this.

The following are tips which will help you through your public speaking fears. They may be more effective for one-off scenarios, as a more extensive program should be chosen by those who need to regularly participate in public-speaking but experience fear.

  • Write out notes: Write out what you are planning to say clearly. Even though you don’t want to be reading your notes exactly, having them there can alleviate anxiety because if you lose track, you can check your notes and start where you left off.
  • Get there early: It helps to be comfortable with the setting you will be presenting in. Get there when no one else is around so you can familiarise yourself with your surroundings.
  • Imagine the worst: What is the worst thing that could happen to you? Identify your worst-case scenario and come up with a plan for what you would do if it happened. It isn’t going to happen – but what if it does? Most likely you’ll realise that public speaking won’t have career-ending consequences.
  • Focus on the content: What’s most important is that you know what you’re talking about, and talk about it. Why are you giving the presentation? Most likely because you are talking about something you know, or feel passionate about. Focusing on your material and using your knowledge to your advantage might also put you at ease because it transfers the attention from public speaking to your domain.
  • Learn relaxation techniques: The usefulness of relaxation techniques to reduce public speaking should not be underestimated. Deep breathing immediately before you present can help calm your nerves and get your breathing in control.
  • Remember that it isn’t all about you: When you are presenting you are hyper-focussed on yourself and how your body might look or how you might sound. But remember that the audience isn’t going to be nearly as focussed on you as you are on yourself, and they will not notice when your hands shake or you slip up while talking

Dealing with anxiety the right way is much more effective than ignoring it. Remember that if you have to speak in public regularly then a more comprehensive approach is more appropriate.

Posted on 20 January '21 by , under people. No Comments.