5 Causes of Psychological Injury in the Workplace and How to Avoid Them

Psychological injuries and other issues have become an epidemic in modern workplaces. They’ve become a growing concern for managers, as these issues often lead to resignation or injury claims. As of recently, workplace philosophy has shifted towards improving employees’ mental health and decreasing factors that can lead to anxiety and emotional distress. Here are some of the causes of employee distress in work environments.

  1. Overworking & psychological burnout

Employees are often asked to put in extra effort in everything they do. This means handling more projects and working longer times than they should be. It’s all under the guise of furthering their career and helping the business prosper. It’s a worthwhile goal, but it often comes with dire consequences.

When employees are overworked, they start inching closer to burnout. It’s not uncommon for people to crack under the pressure and start performing worse and worse. Employees aren’t machines and adding higher workloads doesn’t keep work quality up. Quite the opposite is true. Work is a lot more efficient when it’s done in reasonable timeframes and amounts. Employees perform a lot better when they’re given normal amounts of work, which allows them to shine and show their potential. A workplace with balanced work times and projects show the most progress and has the most motivated employees.

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  1. Chaotic schedules

Humans are inherently habitual creatures. Having a precise schedule that you stick to is something that allows for more productivity and better rest times. In many lines of work, keeping up the same schedule is pretty difficult. When working with clients that are overseas or doing jobs in shifts, employee schedules can become quite hectic. Night shifts and after-hour work has become common practice in many professions.

This is often detrimental to an employee’s rest and sleep schedule. Night shifts and sleepless days disrupt a person’s natural circadian rhythm, leading to exhaustion, loss of concentration and further psychological injury. Prolonged sleepless periods can have very negative effects on an employee’s psychological and mental well-being. It creates a suitable environment for anxiety and irritability, leading to worse performance and team cohesion.

Employees should be given balanced and flexible work schedules that don’t change very often. Give employees the option to designate a preferred work time that allows them to get the rest they require. It’s going to do wonders for their quality of work. Such moves drastically reduce turnover, keeping employees happy and mentally sound.

  1. Absence of cooperation

Modern workplaces emphasize the importance of teamwork and cooperation. To finish difficult and time-consuming projects, you need a group of employees that can work together to achieve the company’s goals. This requires proper communication between employees and an environment that encourages teamwork.

A workplace that lacks cohesion between employees is at risk of alienating them and causing psychological injury. When employees feel like they’re on their own and can’t find common ground with coworkers, this can cause stress and insecurity.

When you distribute assignments, make sure you utilize everyone’s talents in a way that allows them to contribute to the maximum extent of their potential. Encourage teamwork and cooperation when it comes to projects and you’ll pave the way for a more cohesive work environment.

  1. Employee psychological harassment

While pleasantry and politeness are expected of all employees, many workspaces have overtly negative and hostile environments. When there’s regulation of behaviour, employees might be subjected to harassment by their coworkers or clients. Even business partners and personnel can harass company employees, causing them distress.

Employers must deal with this problem by employing the help of their HR professionals and cracking down on harassment. While this sounds easy in theory, it’s a lot harder to apply in practice. People tend to keep negative situations under wraps for fear of additional retaliation. A lot of harassment in workplaces is hearsay and employees decide to not speak up.

When things reach a critical boiling point, employees will often go the route of blaming the business and seeking compensation. After all, it’s the business’s environment that is hostile. Harassment and bullying can cause a lot of mental distress. Many employers will have to deal with psychological injury claims from their employees when this harassment isn’t addressed properly.

Make sure you introduce avenues of communication between employees and HR. Solving these types of situations in workplace relationships is one of the keys to increasing productivity and job satisfaction. You have to help employees get along and eliminate any negative influences. Hostile work environments are some of the most common causes of employee resignation and HR complaints. This is precisely why it has to be handled swiftly and with extra care.

  1. Lack of secure employment

The current job market is very dynamic. Some would even go as far as to call it fickle. Employees are no longer expected to be attached to their job positions. There are lots of reasons for this. Employment isn’t nearly as secure as it once was. Employers are often willing to terminate employees over very slight mistakes or performance drops. This creates a trust gap between employees and their superiors. Employees want to be sure that they will remain employed if they show consistent quality.

Another factor is the stagnation of wages. Research has shown that professionals need to change employment often in order to keep their wages up when compared to inflation. Raises and vertical mobility have been relatively absent from current job trends. This kind of stagnation signals employees that they aren’t being appreciated, and this leads them towards searching for employment elsewhere. This can be very stressful, as finding further employment is difficult. Not to mention, their current work suffers.

To stay competitive, businesses need to be able to balance cost-cutting and rewarding their employees. Workers are long-term assets which should be appreciated. Employees that feel like part of a team striving for a mutually beneficial goal will work harder and feel a lot more comfortable in the workplace.

Psychological Injury Conclusion

Dealing with psychological issues is difficult, as there are many factors that can lead to their exacerbation. As an employer, you need to be able to recognize the most common causes and try your best to avoid them. It’s a step in the right direction for every business, as healthy and productive employees require positive environments to thrive.