Problems at Work?

Problems at Work?

Conflict can stimulate changes and progress, but unresolved conflicts can disrupt how a team functions. Increased workloads, changes in operations, staffing cuts and personality differences can create stress. Whatever the cause, mediation can improve communication, decrease tension and improve the team’s ability to work together. The costs of employee discord can be enormous. Recent research by various corporations and government agencies shows that: An average manager spends 24 percent to 60 percent of his or her time dealing with employee conflict. Conflict is a major factor in employee turnover, but in today’s economy, many people are afraid to leave their jobs, so they just endure the stresses of conflict as well as they can. The effects of conflict include wasted time, reduced decision quality, lowered motivation, increased health costs and inconvenient rearrangement of work groups to separate disputants. The Good News: Government agencies and businesses that use mediation show dramatic results. With lower conflict, employees have fewer sick days and unscheduled absences, and show improvements in their morale and productivity.  The U.S. Postal Service’s REDRESS mediation program successfully resolved 76.7 percent of the 2,277 cases received during the first quarter of 2014. Example of a Workplace Mediation Case: Average pay for Jefferson County employees is $53,212, or about $26.11 per hour. If two $26/hour employees spend 10 minutes a day bickering (1/6 of $26 x 2 = $8.67 x 5 days per week, x 50 weeks per year), it consumes $2,167 per year of their pay. Then each spends 10 minutes talking to the manager – another $2,167. Their manager earns $30/hour and spends 20 minutes per day listening...
Winter Doldrums? Tips to Feel Better.

Winter Doldrums? Tips to Feel Better.

The holidays are over, the visitors (welcome or un-) have gone home, the presents are worse for wear, your diet is blown, the bills are coming in, and it’s dark and cold.  Many people find this the most difficult, depressing time of year.  How do you make it through to spring? Get as much sunlight as you can, and use bright artificial light to make daylight come earlier. There are “sunbox” lights with special fluorescent tubes that imitate the sun’s rays.  New ones run about $60-$350.  If that’s too expensive, try light bulbs that mimic sunlight– put some in your lamps at home and turn them on first thing in the morning.  When it’s dark in the morning, your body manufactures more melatonin, which makes you sleepy. Consider taking Vitamin D supplements, because your body isn’t absorbing as much from sunlight. Get some exercise to raise the levels of serotonin in your body (I know, I know . . . but it really does help). Go ahead and have some warm comfort food, but don’t overdo it. Shake it up. Try something new: take a class, start a hobby, change your hair, wear brighter clothes, try a new restaurant or new recipes, or paint a wall in a bright color. Get out of the house – preferably with friends who make you laugh. Laughter really helps your mood.  Go help someone else – that will make you feel good, too. Dress properly for the cold. You can’t function well if you’re freezing. Winter has its own charms.  Look for the perfect snowflake, and appreciate the beauty of frost patterns. ...