Happy employees may improve customer satisfaction
Thursday, 02 June 2011 16:00When a retail worker is satisfied with their job, given the proper tools and resources, and feels as though they have a stake in the company, the customers they serve tend to be more satisfied, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri.
Authors of the study noted that while employers often recognize customer satisfaction as an important component of a successful business, many neglect the fact that the happiness of their employees could impact that of their consumers.
"The link between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty is almost twice as strong when you have high employee satisfaction compared to when they are not satisfied with their jobs," said co-author Robert J. Trulaske.
The researchers said that owners of retail businesses may want to consider training and empowering employees so that they can provide tailored service. Additionally, hiring motivated managers and fostering a positive work environment may help to reduce workplace stress and improve employee performance.
Employee wellness programs have also been shown to be successful in improving the health and well-being of a staff.
Canadian employees pushing for national Work From Home Day
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 16:00Job search company Workopolis recently conducted a survey among employees to gauge the popularity of a national Work From Home Day. They found that 88 percent of workers would be on board with such a holiday.
The company reports that the benefits of working from home include a better work-life balance, reduced workplace stress and better mental health for employees.
“Poor work-life balance can negatively impact an individual’s mental health. A flexible work environment that recognizes the need for balance between the demands of work, family and personal life will have positive impacts on employee mental health," said Peter Coleridge, national CEO, Canadian Mental Health Association.
The researchers noted that allowing staff members to work from home would also cut down on transportation costs as well as petroleum usage.
Results of this survey suggest that organizations should consider setting aside certain days during the year when individuals can work from the comfort of their homes. The effort may effectively reduce workplace stress and strengthen employee performance.
Anxiety, depression may lead to mistakes
Tuesday, 24 May 2011 16:00A study that examined the driving risks for teens found that stress and depression increased the likelihood that they would engage in risky driving tactics, according to researchers at Queensland University of Technology.
While the trial only looked at teenagers, the findings add weight to theories that mental conditions like anxiety, stress and depression lead people to make unsound decisions.
The researchers' study involved about 760 teenage drivers and found that feelings of anxiousness or sadness were responsible for 8.5 percent of the dangerous driving that occurred.
"We already know that psychological distress, such as anxiety and depression, has been linked to risky behavior in adolescents including unprotected sex, smoking and high alcohol consumption," said lead author Bridie Scott-Parker.
Results of this study suggest that employees who have high levels of stress, which have been shown to lead to depression, may end up making bad decisions in the workplace. Employee wellness programs that include tools and resources for stress management may help to ease the minds of staff members while promoting their overall health.
Journal recommends standards to prevent fatigued doctors
Tuesday, 24 May 2011 16:00The Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) recently published an editorial stating that workplace fatigue in doctors is a preventable problem that must be addressed.
Doctors often work long shifts, and are many times proud to do so. Unfortunately, it also tends to leave them sleep-deprived and vulnerable to making mistakes in their ever-important professions.
"The problem may only be getting worse," wrote CMAJ editors. "Medical care today is more complex than in decades past. Increasing complexity of care at the bedside or in the operating theatre places unprecedented cognitive and physical demands on doctors who oversee and deliver care in these environments."
They said that it's a cultural problem within hospitals, in that routine extended shifts have become a source of pride. The CMAJ said that institutions - like the government, insurance agencies and licensing and accreditation boards - should impose standards for scheduling practices and determine the minimum number of uninterrupted hours of sleep that a healthcare provider should get before reporting to work.
Moreover, sleep-deprivation is both a cause and a result of stress. Employee wellness programs that address stress management could be helpful in keeping medical professionals alert.
Safe environment may ease workplace stress
Monday, 23 May 2011 16:00Over the past decade, the world has witnessed devastating events from tornadoes to hurricanes to terrorist attacks. While such dangers may not directly cause workplace stress, employees may feel at ease knowing that their organization has taken proactive measures to prepare for natural disasters and other emergencies.
According to an article on Human Resource Executive Online, many businesses are lacking in preparedness and it may be time for such organizations to conduct a vulnerability audit.
This kind of assessment requires employers to take a look at measures that are already in place - like fire and tornado drill procedures - to see if any inadequacies exist. Also, managers and CEOs should review the last time drills and emergency plans were updated, make sure all employees have been trained for disasters and check the company insurance plan to see if there is proper emergency coverage.
The website reports that when the recent tsunami hit Japan, employee assistance programs were helpful in ensuring that workers had food, shelter and clothing during the ordeal.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides a detailed guide on its website for employers to use in assessing the safety of their workplace and implementing proper policies and procedures. The agency recommends that business administrators brainstorm worst-case scenarios to identify possible emergencies.
Companies whose staff has already experienced trauma, like the recent rash of tornadoes that hit the southern states, may want to consider employee wellness programs that provide stress management techniques to help relieve anxiety.
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