Time to reassess employees’ worth

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. At a time when the Health and Safety Commission has urged trade unions toraise awareness of occupational health issues among their members, it mayappear hypocritical that stress-related ill-health is still regarded as a poorrelation to chemical poisoning, asbestos or other physical injuries. Employers often assume it is the employee who is faulty and dismisssuggestions that the employer’s systems, management culture or the environmentof the workplace could be at fault. But even if we accept this diagnosis, arethere any benefits to be gained by improving the lot of the employee at work? There have been a number of authoritative writers on employee retention andmotivation who have demonstrated that money is not the only answer. Staff wantto be heard, treated fairly, managed properly, and most of all, valued. Thistakes time and communication and listening skills. Unfortunately, the pace ofbusiness life lends itself to providing excuses and reasons for not engaging inlistening, valuing and treating staff fairly. What evidence do we have to support this and what, if any, is the cost toindustry? The out-of-court settlement to Leslie North for stress in August wasgreeted by a spokesperson from the Institute of Directors with derision. It wasquoted in a national newspaper as referring to the settlement as “thelitigation and compensation culture gone absolutely barmy”. Ever since the landmark Walker case of 1996, there has been a queue formingfrom teachers to council employees to many unreported cases of employeesseeking compensation for the ill-health effects of workplace stress. It isdifficult to see the tide turning and employees returning to putting up withpoor work conditions for longer-term security of tenure. Employers can no longer offer this and the new generation of staff may notwant it. They are highly mobile with portable skills so it may be morefinancially beneficial for employers to channel the efforts expended infighting claims into assessing risk and removing the causes of workplacestress. If people are an organisation’s strategic advantage, why do some forget tolisten, value them and assess the risk to their well being and productivity inthe name of expediency? Time to reassess employees’ worthOn 1 Dec 2000 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more