Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Conquering Depression in the Workplace

Depression can be a safety factor in the workplace ...

"Depression affects morale, productivity and effectiveness, but you don't have to let it bring your workers down.

By Christopher Knippers, Ph.D.

Lynette had a deep, embarrassing secret. She had been the star employee of the company. Everyone loved her. She was now a very capable manager. Even her divorce a couple of years ago hadn't seemed to affect her. Lynette was the one who always had a smile, a new idea and tireless dedication to her department.

But for the past few weeks, there was a growing change in Lynette. She was late for work, her attitude was negative and she was short-tempered. The quality of Lynette's work was slipping.

A close co-worker discovered Lynette's ex-husband had remarried, causing Lynette to fall into a deep depression, one that impacted the quality of her work and her relationships with coworkers.

This case of a depressed employee is very typical of how depression affects a company's productivity, morale and effectiveness. Life's challenges sometimes overwhelm employees who are already vulnerable for some pre-existing reason. People who are most vulnerable to having depression triggered by the typical stressors of life are those who derive an inordinate amount of their fulfillment in life from either:

Harmonious interpersonal relationships.
Obtaining a high amount of positive recognition for high achievements.
If anything goes wrong in a relationship for the first type, or if the second type falls short of his or her own high standards of achievement and recognition, depression can be triggered in an employee."   (Continued via Occupational Hazards)            [Ergonomics Resources]

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