The two extremes of managing burnout

Two new books about burnout arrived on my doorstep this week. They could not be more different. They reflect the mess of approaches to this type of psychosocial injury. Only one provides valid, useful evidence and advice. Bev Aisbett released a book that I found unreadable – partly because of the advice offered but mostly …

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Does OHS research have a Left and a Right?

Occupational health and safety (OHS) has had an uneasy ride in political debates in Australia, often because there is a disturbing morality in laws that dictate an employer has responsibility for the safety and health of their workers, even if legal wriggle room is allowed. There is no written history of OHS in Australia except …

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We know how to prevent burnout but we have little desire to change

Probono Australia is reporting that employee burnout is on the rise. Burnout is increasingly being used as an alternative term for mental ill-health or stress at work. The report on which the writer based their article is not surprising, but the recommendations are. The subheading for the article is: ““Structural and cultural shifts, not wellness …

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Job insecurity and OHS solutions

As well as featuring in a workplace psychology podcast Professor Tony LaMontagne spoke at the current Senate Select Committee on Job Security in Australia and made a submission that provides evidence of the connection between job insecurity and poor mental health. This strengthens the argument that the prevention of mental health at work (and maybe …

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“it’s much harder to fix work than it is to fix workers”

Recently in the International Journal of Epidemiology*, Professor Tony Lamontagne and his colleagues wrote that their Australian research: “….. showed that improving job security is strongly associated with decreasing depression and anxiety symptoms.” This is an example of the precise research statements that LaMontagne has made over several decades, which have been enormously helpful to …

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Stepping forward a bit, maybe

Last week the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) issued a media release describing the meeting of Work Health and Safety Ministers presenting a “… huge step forward on mental health…” The “step” is more walking on the spot than a step forward as the obligation to address psychological hazards in the workplace has existed …

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Business voices add weight to OHS change

On February 27 2012, The Australian reprinted/tweaked a Harvard Business Review (HBR) article on Burnout. A significant feature of the article is the acknowledgement of organisational factors as contributing to burnout and other workplace mental health hazards. The situation seems to have changed as these types of acknowledgements were harder to draw out of psychological …

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