Current Research and Practice
New Horizons in Management series
Chapter 11: Organizational Counselling and Fitness Programmes
INTRODUCTION This book has discussed how within the last few decades, workplaces have undergone major transformations due to rapid advances in information technology, globalization, increased female participation, and growing numbers of dual-earner couples and older workers. These changes have had far-reaching consequences for employee health and well-being (O’Driscoll et al., 2008). According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), occupational stress was one of the ten leading causes of workplace death in the US in 1990 (cited in Sauter et al., 1990). More recent data from the same source indicates an alarming trend for increasing levels of occupational stress: 40 per cent of US employees believe their jobs are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ stressful and at least 26 per cent of employees feel ‘burned out’ at work (NIOSH, 2006). The American Psychological Association (APA) estimates the cost of job stress incurred by US companies at $300 billion per year due to increased absenteeism, productivity loss, turnover and healthcare costs (APA, 2008). The Business and Economic Roundtable of Canada estimated that the cost in lost productivity, turnover, disability payouts and absenteeism for Canadian organizations is about CA$30 billion a year (Corbett, 2004). In the light of this evidence there is increasing interest among organizations in instituting workplace practices that promote better individual and organizational well-being. Some organizations have taken a leadership role in promoting the concept of a healthy workplace. The American Association of CriticalCare Nurses, for example, recently established six standards for establishing and sustaining healthy work...
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