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Dr Leigh Hodder is a consulting psychologist with 20 years’ experience in corporate psychology and private practice. Leigh is one of iHR’s Senior Workplace Relations Advisors. She conducts independent workplace investigations and inquiries, team dynamics diagnostics and interventions, mediations and other consulting activities. Leigh is also our Lead Facilitator for the Mental Ill Health in the Workplace workshops and Workplace Mediation Skills workshop.


Employee engagement: Is the ladder against the wrong wall?

In 2017, HR practitioners will, again, measure employee engagement and attempt to improve it, with mixed success. Could the time and money spent on these activities have a greater ROI if focused directly on productivity? Think about the following:

  1. Employee engagement may contribute to productivity, but it is not productivity.
  2. An employee may be fully engaged but without the proper organisational support and ability to manage their energy, it is unlikely their output will improve.
  3. Emotional states, such as engagement, are hard to understand and measure, while behaviours and productivity are not.
  4. A more holistic diagnostic approach, looking at all the factors that increase productivity, is needed.

Mental health in the workplace:  a joint effort 

We have three years to go until depression replaces cancer as the second leading cause of time lost to the global economy.  In Australia, 48% of us will experience a mental health condition at some stage during our lives.  When this is added to the increasing legal and practical complexities inherent in managing mental health in the workplace, HR practitioners are, understandably, concerned and challenged.

Buy-in from all layers of the business to implementing a genuine culture of well-being is needed, in addition to upskilling all members of your organisational community in how to effectively and compassionately manage their mental health concerns and those of others.

Managing negativity: one bad apple can spoil the barrel

Nothing affects employee morale more insidiously than the persistent negativity of a fellow team member. It saps the energy of your organisation and impacts on performance.  Negativity is an increasing problem in the workplace – without doubt, this includes 2017.  “He/she is just so negative” is one of the top comments I hear when conducting team dynamics diagnostics.

Negativity is a highly infectious mind-set.  Whatever the cause of the workplace negativity, you must address the issues. Or like a seemingly dormant volcano, they will boil beneath the surface, and periodically erupt to cause fresh damage.

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