Managing Stress and Conflict in the organisation Essay
Managing Stress and Conflict in the organisation
Following a traumatic incident I and three other Fire-fighters attended in February 2012 I decided to test GAL’s current support mechanisms relating to coping and dealing with stress, in specific PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder). In a very short space of time it became very apparent that GAL has no ability either within the company or by the designated external provider to deal with PTSD. At that time GAL use an external provider (AXA) as their main point of contact for any employee requiring counselling on a variety of aspects but this did not include PTSD. This was highlighted when I personally called the support hotline only to be told they could not help. Even though PTSD is quite specific I do consider it falls under workplace stress due to the very nature of our specific job role and that this form of stress would not be at the forefront if our job role was of a different nature. So after evaluation of GAL’s effectiveness to deal with workplace stress I would state that it is an area that is left wanting at that time of the original incident.
Since then GAL and in specific the FS now has an option if required to contact WSFRS) to utilise their TAC team (Trauma After care). I met with the team’s leader to discuss their service and what it could offer us. We compared our current in house stress counselling service at that of WSFRS. Our service was not even close to comparable with that of WSFRS. Taking the discussions into account I arranged to meet again with the TAC team and GAL’s HR and Occupational health. The outcome of this meeting was to formalise a procedure that GAL as a whole but more so the FS can call upon when required the services of WSFRS TAC team if our own in house service provided by AXA was not capable or sufficient in dealing with a specific demand or request for counselling.
The TAC team have since the meetings delivered presentations to all FS Watch’s and to other members of GAL, primarily HR, Occ Health and other customer facing departments. These presentations involved delivering what the service can or can’t do, signs and symptoms of stress and how do recognise it as an individual or as a colleague of friend. As a FS we have also set up a tracker with Occ Health to trial for 24 months to see if or how many days in the workplace are lost to stress and how that can be improved if it did become an issue.
At present Occ Health do hold data relating to days lost through stress companywide but to to its very nature that data is strictly confidential so cannot be used or discussed in my evaluation of workplace stress. One statistic that was shared with me was that WSFRS had seen a 27% reduction in days lost through workplace stress following the inception of its TAC team initiative. These findings were shared with relevant departments within GAL.