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22 ProPrint September 2014
But then, she says the worker has to be
worth the exercise. "If you have someone
who has always been a crappy worker and
they are exhibiting these symptoms,
sometimes you can't help somebody who
won't help themselves,'' she says.
If you approach them and they won't do
anything, all you can do is performance
manage. Or if they're not getting any help,
you may be better off without them.
"On the other hand if you have someone
who is a fundamentally decent person and
decent employee, that's probably the
person I would encourage the boss to have
a shot at."
Blue Star managing director Geoff Selig
says his company is launching an
employee wellness progra m which will
tackle mental health. Blue Star has about
He says that while the company is still
working out how much it will cost, it is
worth the investment.
"It's hard to measure a return on
investment because it's not a traditional
business case where you outline the costs
of something and have a corresponding
EBIT,'' he says. "This is an initiative that
we believe is important for our staff.
There's certainly a cost attached to it to
implement it, but we see it as creating a
Continued from page 21
better workplace and a better place for the
"It has a positive cultural element to it
where in any business you can only
support a more productive environment."
Globus Group chief executive Chris
Burt says a number of his staff have
battled mental problems over the years
but it's a difficult issue to tackle.
"You're never quite sure what the causes
are,'' he says. "Very often the causes are
outside the workplace so as an employer to
what extent can you get involved, or
should you get involved when it's not a
work related issue.
"If you start getting involved, you could
be breaching privacy requirements or
Burt says all the company can do is have
a conversation with the staff member.
"The first way we would go about it
would be to talk to their supervisor or
manager to have a quiet word with them
to see if everything is ok and to see if there
is anything we can assist with,'' he says.
"Some people reach out and ask for
assistance and other people say they will
be ok and they are dealing with it."
E-Bisprint managing director Paul
Freeman says that he has experienced
some instances where employees at his
company have struggled with mental
illness. A couple of instances are that
one employee stole from the
company due to a gambling
problem, and another staff
suicide. Although this
occurred six years ago, it
can still have an
ongoing effect on staff
"The effects of these
occurrences don't go
away quickly. It was
quite a shock at the
time. He was highly
strung. He was on
his way out one
our HR lady he
was feeling a bit
and stress and
he went home
and committed suicide," he says.
Freeman says the company now
monitors its employees and watches out
for tell-tale signs
"From a distance you monitor their
behaviour, their punctuality and also
absenteeism,'' he says. "You just keep an
eye on all that."
In the end, he says, it comes down to
having the courage to have a difficult
conversation with an employee.
"We are certainly not afraid of having a
conversation like that and finding what's
going on,'' he says. "This way we can assist
in any way that can ease the employee's
issues that are causing concern to them."
Other things printers can do is bring in
speakers to lead sessions on cooking
healthy meals, staying healthy while
travelling, or quick stress management
skills; or running coaching and disease
management programs that pair
employees with online, phone-based, or
face-to-face health professionals who can
guide them through the steps of behaviour
There are some possible solutions to the
problem. But the first and most important
step is to acknowledge that mental health
in the workplace is now an issue. It can't
be ignored. PP
A couple of instances are that one
employee stole from the company due
to a gambling problem, and another
staff member committed suicide
Paul Freeman, managing director, E-Bisprint
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