Strategies for addressing and alleviating employee anxiety

By Barbara J. Bowes, Legacy Bowes Group

Although Canadians appear to be fairly far away from any potential of encountering the Ebola virus, after reading and hearing the daily news, I can easily envision the heightened fear that’s beginning to occur amongst workers, especially those that travel to foreign countries. Not only are general citizens in the targeted countries becoming ill, doctors, nurses and other health care workers are also becoming patients.

Then, as fear spreads, we are seeing some health care workers refusing to work, causing a shortage of staff to help curb the disease. Similarly, cabin cleaners at New York’s LaGuardia Airport recently walked off the job to protest what they perceived as insufficient protection from potential exposure to the Ebola virus. They raised concerns about the lack of proper protective equipment, as well as the quality. The one-day strike forced airline crews to clean planes themselves, which in turn creates additional health hazards. And in countries such as West Africa, there are already tremendous economic impacts as schools and businesses are closed.

We are also experiencing challenges within our own workforces. On one hand, we are hearing announcements of new job growth opportunities while on the other we are learning of significant budget cuts and employee layoffs. As well, provincial and federal governments appear to be in a belt-tightening mode. Regardless of whether these efforts are legitimate or not, these types of incidents and/or issues cause significant anxiety amongst employee groups.



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Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.