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New study suggests that depression is infectious

CultureDecember 4, 2014

New study suggests that depression is infectious (Last Updated On: December 4, 2014)

A study on ‘the morale of managers’ in the workplace has been conducted by Massey University’s School of Management. Professor Jarrod Harr who was part of the study found that managers who have low morale ‘infect’ their employees who in turn become depressed. Research has shown that Australian businesses lose over $6.5 billion a year in costs associated with poor mental health. Businesses experience absenteeism, presenteeism and higher staff turnover when they do not address the issue.

Professor Harr said that the study revealed that employers or staff with leadership roles within a business can infect their employees if they are suffering from depression. Work culture is affected when negative assumptions of employee performance from leadership results in doubt and worry of employees approach to work and/or work ethic. Like a ripple effect, the wellbeing of employers both positive and negative can rub off onto their employees.

Business owners should have a strong focus on the mental health of their staff especially in managerial positions through education and training. By creating awareness, it will decrease the prevalence of poor mental health. Encouraging staff to recognise triggers and ways to better manage reactions to stressful situations can have promising results.

It is also a good idea to encourage personal days or staff to take their annual leave when they are suffering. Managers may feel that they are required to be present and in control and that they cannot take time away from the office. Business owners need to look out for the health of their managers and encourage them to take the time to recuperate. All Australians working full time have 10 days of sick leave a year. It is beneficial for business owners to discuss the health of the manager to combat the problem before ‘depression and contaminate your workforce’.

If you would like advice on how to manage sick leave associated with mental health in your workplace call Employsure today on 1300 651 415 or fill in the form below. It may be a difficult conversation to initiate with your staff but it could save your business hardships in the days, weeks or months ahead. If you would like to combat mental health issues that are costing your business Employsure is your answer, we are ready to take your call.

*Information sourced via HC Online website


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