Workplace strain can increase risks of depression twice as much

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  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    May 4, 2013 6:14 a.m.

    One big problem with companies is a "focus on the customer" above all else. This is based on the assumption that customers pay the company salaries and profits, thus, all activities need to concentrate on making customers happy and loyal.

    The problem with this belief, particularly in service organizations where workers serve customers, is that it overlooks the importance of employee satisfaction and how that is the principal driver of organization profitability and effectiveness. That is, because workers serve customers (think education, healthcare, restaurants, etc.), if employees are stressed, feel exploited, or neglected by company management, they begin to become cynical and less productive, often taking their frustrations out on customers or sabotaging the company.

    Years ago, I heard a talk about disgruntled autoworkers who would purposely put sandwiches in car doors at the factory so that they'd smell up the cars to be sold or attract ants.

    The Harvard Business Review had a piece about 20 years ago called the Service-Profit Chain that showed the links between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction and profits, which was later empirically tested at Sears (of all places!) to show its general validity. Common sense if you ask me.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    May 2, 2013 2:04 p.m.

    Re: "Workplace strain can increase risks of depression . . . ."

    This study looks as reliable as those conducted by that brilliant Dutch social scientist, Diederik Stapel [who recently admitted faking nearly all his research].

    A professor once told me, "a discipline whose adherents feel a need to identify it or themselves, using the word 'science' -- isn't."

    My experience is that what really increases both workplace strain and depression is the moral dissonance produced by knowing one has chosen not to do his or her job to the extent of his or her ability.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    May 2, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    Oops! I found the article's link. The study DOES reinforce my previous comment.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    May 2, 2013 8:48 a.m.

    I wonder if the study differentiates between types of stress. My personal experience indicates that for me, stressors that are outside of my control (usually from irrational managers) are the worst. Stress from short-term intense productivity, or situations I have some control over or that are justified demands are MUCH easier to handle.