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    職場倦怠受到更多關注,科技能否成為解決之道?

    Gwen Moran 2019年06月30日

    倘若職場倦怠程度加深,公司必將面臨更大的后果,例如生產力下降、人員流失等,甚至可能更糟。

    盡管由科技進步催生的“永遠在線”文化被認為是職場倦怠加重的部分原因,但該現象背后的原因要復雜得多。圖片來源:PeopleImages Getty Images

    2019年5月,世界衛生組織的《國際疾病分類》第11次修訂版(ICD-11)對職場倦怠進行了更加詳細的描述,此后這個詞越來越多地出現在了新聞頭條上。新定義稱,倦怠綜合癥是由于工作壓力長期未得到妥善管理造成的。世衛組織用三個維度的特點來定義職場倦怠:感覺能量低或精疲力盡、對工作感覺消極或有距離感、工作效率降低。

    但世衛組織沒有將倦怠歸類為一種醫療狀況。相反,它被列為一種“職業現象”,被歸為人們尋求健康服務的一種原因,但不是疾病或健康問題。英國一位持證臨床心理學家及組織發展顧問羅素·薩克雷博士表示,對個人而言,這是個好消息,也是可能引起雇主擔憂的一個領域。

    “在我看來,世界衛生組織此舉承認了精神健康問題的嚴重性。長期以來,由于缺乏實物證據,精神健康狀況一直未得到充分重視。”薩克雷說,“比如說,斷了一條腿,證據就擺在那里,所有人都能夠看到。然而,任何更偏向于‘精神上’的東西,往往會被歸結于喜怒無常、懶惰,甚至被認為是一種策略。”

    一個常見問題

    洛杉磯雇傭關系訴訟律師、阿克曼有限責任公司(Ackerman, LLP)的合伙人米歇爾·李·弗洛雷斯說,權威的世界性衛生組織對職場倦怠的承認,會讓人們意識到對這個問題的誤解,同時可以為解決該問題提供進一步的支持。但她說,人們對職場倦怠的認知提高,也給雇主帶來了新問題。

    “我認為(大多數)雇主都意識到了,能夠被請假政策、《美國殘疾人法》(ADA)和特殊住宿要求覆蓋的嚴重醫療狀況可以有不同的形式,職場倦怠也包括在內。”李·弗洛雷斯表示。弗洛雷斯還說:“通過將這種對職場產生直接影響的問題及其癥狀記錄在冊,世衛組織還向雇主普及了職場倦怠為什么不容忽視。”

    職場倦怠也因為其普遍性引發擔憂。蓋洛普在2018年的一項調查發現,44%的受訪者表示,他們“有時”會在工作中感到倦怠。與此同時,23%的人說他們“經常”有這種感覺。

    “這給人們敲響了警鐘,因為職場倦怠可能進一步導致員工面臨其他已知風險。”薩克雷表示,“需要在公司生活的各個領域把職場倦怠的因素考慮進去,同時還不能對這個話題‘歇斯底里’。”

    科技:既是病因,又是藥方?

    盡管人們認為科技進步催生的“永遠在線”文化是導致職場倦怠加重的部分原因,但其實該現象背后的原因復雜得多。Kronos Incorporated和Future Workplace于2017年開展的員工投入度系列調查發現,引起受訪者職場倦怠的三大原因包括薪酬不公(41%的受訪者)、工作量不合理(32%)和加班時間過長(32%)。

    “過度縱容也同樣會導致倦怠,因為企業不敢給員工施加挑戰,促其發展。”薩克雷說,“因此,領導層和員工之間需要進行合理的、成年人之間的對話,才可以取得成效。”

    一些公司正在認真對待這些理念。2018年9月,在斯科特·舒特擔任領英全球客戶運營副總裁六年多后,成為了該公司主管正念和共情工作的高管。在這個職位上,舒特專注于改善員工健康和參與度。他發起了為期30天的冥想挑戰,制作了和冥想有關的內容,并于2019年6月與Wisdom 2.0在加州山景城共同主辦了共情與領導力峰會。

    “如我們所知,大量研究表明,善念能夠幫助我們擁有更好的人際關系。”舒特說,“這對我們減輕壓力、焦慮和抑郁都大有裨益。我有興趣做一些研究,看看善念長期會如何影響生產力等核心指標。”他補充道,這一角色屬于新生事物,相關計劃的影響力目前主要是通過消耗來衡量。

    薩克雷說,越來越多的健康類應用程序可以幫你監控自己方方面面的健康行為,比如喝了多少水,睡了多少覺,做了多少運動等,或許也能夠幫助員工更好地照顧自己。

    除文化因素外,接受Kronos調查的人力資源主管中,20%的人認為員工在工作中缺乏足夠的科技工具是導致他們職場倦怠的另外一個重要原因。在雇員超過2500人的公司,27%的受訪者有這種感覺。

    一些組織正在向Glint等平臺求助,這些平臺可以幫助組織獲得反饋,監督員工的參與度、表現和成長。Glint軟件平臺的聯合創始人、首席執行官兼主席吉姆·巴奈特說,此類科技工具可以幫助組織查明導致職場倦怠的原因并加以解決。

    弗洛雷斯和薩克雷都認為這種意識很重要。如果職場倦怠程度加深,公司必將面臨更大的后果,如生產力下降、人員流失等,甚至可能更糟。

    “如果現在不采取行動,很容易導致未來出臺一系列嚴苛的新法規。”薩克雷說, “這對企業而言,是一個滑坡謬誤,所以需要現在就著手解決問題。”(財富中文網)

    譯者:Agatha

    Ever since May 2019, when the World Health Organization’s 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) included a more detailed description of burnout, the term has increasingly made headlines. The new definition calls burnout syndrome the results of chronic workplace stress that have not been successfully managed. WHO characterizes it as having three dimensions: feelings of low energy and exhaustion, negative feelings toward or disengagement from the job, and reduced professional effectiveness.

    But WHO stopped short of classifying burnout as a medical condition. Instead, it’s listed as an “occupational phenomenon,” and included it in a chapter of reasons for which people contact health services—but are not considered illnesses or health conditions. That’s good news for individuals and a possible area of concern for employers, says Russell Thackeray, Ph.D., a U.K.-based licensed clinical psychologist and organizational development consultant.

    “The move by the WHO represents, in my view, an acknowledgement of the seriousness of mental health conditions, long under-appreciated because of the lack of physical proof,” Thackeray says. “For example, break a limb and the evidence is there for all to see. However, anything that’s more ‘in the mind’ can often be attributed to being moody, lazy ,or even a strategy.”

    Shining a light on a common issue

    Having a respected world health organization recognize burnout brings awareness to the issue’s misconceptions and provides further support for it, says Michelle Lee Flores, a Los Angeles-based employment litigator and partner with Ackerman, LLP. But burnout’s higher profile also raises new questions for employers, she says.

    “I think [most] employers are mindful that serious medical conditions that can either trigger coverage under leave policies, or coverage under the ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] and accommodation requirements can also come in different forms, including this,” Lee Flores says. “By documenting the condition and its symptoms—which directly affect the workplace—WHO has also helped employers understand why burnout isn’t something to be ignored,” Flores says.

    Burnout is also a concern because of its ubiquity. Research from Gallup in 2018 found 44% of people surveyed said they “sometimes” experience burnout on the job. Meanwhile, 23% said they felt it “very often.”

    “This is a wake-up call and can lead to further areas of defined employee risk,” Thackeray says. “Companies will need to factor in burnout into all areas of corporate life without becoming ‘hysterical’ about the whole subject.”

    Technology: A contributor and a cure?

    While the “always-on” culture fueled by technology has been partially blamed for increases in burnout, the reasons are more complex. The 2017 Employee Engagement Series conducted by Kronos Incorporated and Future Workplace found that the top three reasons respondents for burnout included unfair compensation (cited by 41% of respondents), unreasonable workload (32%), and too much overtime/after-hours work (32%).

    “Burnout can be produced from being overly cosseted, because organizations are frightened to challenge and develop people,” Thackeray says. “So a proper adult conversation needs to be had between the leadership and workforce to deliver results.”

    Some companies are taking those conversations seriously. In September 2018, Scott Shute became LinkedIn’s head of mindfulness and compassion, after having served as the company’s vice president of global customer operations for more than six years. In this role, Shute focuses on programs that improve employee wellness and engagement. He’s launched 30-day meditation challenges, produced meditation-related content, and co-hosted The Compassion and Leadership Summit in June 2019 along with Wisdom 2.0 in Mountain View, California.

    “We know there’s tons of research that shows that mindfulness is great for our ability to have better relationships,” Shute says. “It’s great for our ability to reduce stress, reduce anxiety, reduce depression. I’m interested in doing some research over time on how it affects heart metrics like productivity.” The role is relatively new and the program’s impact is currently being measured by consumption, he adds.

    The rise of well-being apps that help monitor everything from how much water you’re drinking to how much sleep and exercise you’re getting may also help employees take better care of themselves, Thackeray says.

    In addition to cultural aspects, 20% of human resources leaders who responded to the Kronos research cited insufficient technology for employees to do their jobs as another primary cause of burnout. At organizations with more than 2,500 employees, 27% of respondents felt this way.

    Some organizations are turning to platforms like Glint to enable feedback and monitor engagement, performance, and growth. Such tech tools may help organizations spot areas that contribute to burnout and address them, says Jim Barnett, co-founder, CEO, and chair of the software platform.

    Both Flores and Thackeray think that kind of awareness is important. As burnout levels climb, companies stand to face greater consequences in terms of lost productivity and turnover, and possibly worse.

    “Too little action now could easily lead to more frequent and onerous legislation in the future,” Thackeray says. “This is a slippery slope for organizations, so start fixing things now.”

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