As the cost of living (or cozzie livs as the young people say) and rising interest rates continues to place ongoing stress on workers, the relationship between the employee and employers has potential to be as strained as ever. In these tight economic times, it is vital that employers and employees work together and keep communication open. Or else, these pockets of stress can begin to take over our Aussie workplaces and cause tensions to rise.
Leaders feel pressure too.
It is important to remember that it is not only employees that are dealing with the current economic climate. The pressure is also placed on business owners and senior leaders to navigate their businesses through these uncertain financial times. Understanding that senior leaders can be feeling similar pressures to their employees is key to ensure open and honest conversations about mental wellbeing are occurring and with that comes the thinking of getting through it together.
Psychosocial risks are increasing.
While employers are not immune to the pressure, they must remember that they have a duty of care for their employee’s mental wellbeing at work. Last year, NSW amended their Work, Health & Safety laws introducing a positive duty for a person conducting or undertaking a business (PCBU) to manage psychosocial risks in the workplace. With pressure and stress becoming more and more common in workers everyday lives, it only helps create an environment for these psychosocial hazards to thrive.
Employers must remember that psychosocial risks can be anything as simple from a lack of support from managers, fatigue, to low job rewards and recognition (click here to read our article on psychosocial risks). Although, employers can’t control cost of living pressures, they can control their workplaces and to staying aware and vigilant in preventing these psychosocial risks from occurring in their workplaces.
What can employers do?
While most employees would like a salary to increase it is not on the cards for many. Employers however can find alternate ways in supporting their employees by extending remote working options to reduce travel costs, which increased by 8% in 2022 (ABS Consumer Price Index).
However, a vital and often overlooked measure when workers begin to feel undervalued or underappreciated is to prioritise open and honest conversations where they can speak freely about ongoing living pressures. Levelling with employees and ensuring a positive workplace culture is being maintained, where these conversations can take place is what will prevent employees turning on their employers.
These are tough times however it important that we remember we are all human, and humans feel pressure. Connecting with one another and being reminded of our alikeness will boost essential togetherness and keep psychosocial risks prone to the office at bay.
Not sure where to start? Get in touch today to find out what specialised A-HA approach will work for your team today!