Corporate citizenship can eliminate stress claims
Employers must move "beyond legislative compliance alone" to combat the growth of stress-driven compensation claims and injuries, according to Curtin University research.
Becoming a corporate citizenAccording to the researchers, corporate citizenship involves thinking of corporations as social institutions "due to the permeation of their activity across everyday life, including our roles as consumers, workers and community members".
Good corporate citizenship, they say, involves a proactive approach to and investment in employee wellbeing, and an understanding that people in positions of authority (such as managers and supervisors) influence the health of individuals, whether or not they're at work.
This approach is particularly important, the researchers say, in an era in which technological advancements have provided workers with temporal and spatial mobility.
Employees, more than ever, are performing unpaid overtime or "overspill" work at home, leading to "an increased blurring of work and family life" and a possible increase in stressors.
"Employers need to understand that stressors in either work or non-work environments can potentially impact on an individual's performance in other life roles," they say. "It is not realistic to expect workers to 'leave their troubles at the door'.
"How workers respond physically or psychologically to the demands of their work are a product of the relationships between the worker, the employer, the organisation and other stakeholders.
"These relationships therefore must be based on a set of moral rules (driven by both business and society), and not simply on compliance with legislative requirements."
The researchers say that to reduce exposure to workplace psychological hazards, and improve both employee and community health, employers should:
If you have some HR news to share or would like to suggest a topic for an article, click here to email the editor.