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Safety Symposium Training And Risk Management For Psychological Injury
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Safety Symposium Training And Risk Management For Psychological Injury


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  • 1. Training & Risk Management for Psychological Injury Keryl Egan & Associates Pty Limited
  • 2. Overview
    • Understand bullying and stress
    • Define the dilemmas
      • Positive stress of challenge vs. negative stress and injury
      • Training bullies to bully better
    • Look for comprehensive solutions
    • Acknowledge limits
  • 3. Definition of Stress
    • Stress is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.
      • Alarm phase
      • General Adaptation
      • Fatigue or Burnout
  • 4. Pressure-Stress-Psychological Injury
    • Pressures are normal in the workplace and may cause positive and negative stress.
    • Stress illness or ‘psychological injury’ occurs when negative stress leads a person to become symptomatic
  • 5. The Yerkes-Dodson Curve Herbert Benson (HBR November 2005)
    • 100
    • Performance
    • Efficiency
    • 0
    0 Stress Anxiety over Time 100 Tipping Point
  • 6. Relationships Bullying as a Source of Stress
    • WA figures show 29.7% of work-related stress claims were due to “exposure to workplace or occupational violence” and “harassment” (B.Shephard, UWA).
    • Mellington (2005) 74% have either witnessed bullying or endured it. Healthworks (2004) found 85%
  • 7. Bullying & Stress
    • Bullying leads to
      • Anxiety disorders, major depression, physical illness
      • 75% of cases have signs of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
      • 31% of 109 suicides related to a work injury or work-related mental illness (Urban Ministry Network, Victoria 2000)
    • Prolonged Duress Stress Disorder (not yet DSM classification).
  • 8. Estimated Cost of Bullying (Sheehan, McCarthy & Henderson, 2001)
    • Costs to Australian industry $17 billion to $36 billion p.a. (Griffith university 2001)
    • Beyond Bullying Association (Griffith University) estimated between 400,000 and 2 million Australians bullied per year.
    • Serial Bullying thought to be most damaging
  • 9. Direct Costs of Workplace Bullying The Law Society of New South Wales © 2004 With the assistance of the NSW Attorney General’s Department
    • Absenteeism
    • Staff Turnover
    • Stress Litigation
    • Increased work accident rate and/or work error rate
    • Loss in productivity
    • Industrial problems
    • Negative publicity
    • Increased Workers
    • Compensation premiums
  • 10. Types of Bullying ACCIDENTAL BULLYING
    • Emotionally blunt, aggressive, demanding
    • Does not realise the impact of own behaviour on others
    • Can be trained or coached out of the behaviour
    • Feels a sense of belonging and connection
      • Fragile self esteem
      • Inflated, unrealistic view of self
      • Feels entitled to privilege
      • Vulnerable to shame and humiliation
      • Devaluing and critical of others
      • Volatile rage if self esteem is threatened
    • Charming, grandiose, seductive
    • Seduces or frightens others into compliance
    • Intentional disabling of targets
    • Exploits the change vacuum: Develops influence network and gains power at others’ expense
    • No remorse: sadistic pleasure from winning and harming others
  • 13. Psychopathic Bullying
    • 90% of injuries
    • are caused by serial bullies
    • Tim Field Bully Online
  • 14. Psychological Hazards
    • Isolation : manipulates time, space, workload and
    • access to others
    • Destabilization : alternates support & criticism unexpectedly
    • Disorientation: unpredictable changes in direction and decisions, chaotic unrealistic demands
  • 15. The Psychopathic Trap © 2005 Keryl Egan & Associates Pty Limited 2. DISABLE Destabilises, Disorients Mind-scrambles Blames Escalates abuse 3.ANNIHILATE Influence network used against target Accuses target of incompetence Target dismissed 1. SNARE Seduces Isolates Induces fear Manipulates
  • 16. Target Response to the Psychopathic Trap © 2005 Keryl Egan & Associates Pty Limited 2. Perplexed, Shamed Fearful & Powerless Stressed underperformance 3. Depression, Anxiety, Withdrawal behaviours Non performance 1. Seduced Compliant Tries harder Subliminal fear
  • 17. Types of bullying behaviours Threatens litigation Plays the victim Bullying intensifies Criminality unmasked Anxiety, rage Defends grandiosity Tragicomic, ridiculous claims Anger, Anxiety Depression Agitation Response to Effective Challenge Planned harm to others, sadistic intent Unprovoked verbal violence Covert undermining & assaults Harm to others for own psychological survival Shame-prone Pay-back for humiliation Harm to others accepted in service of organizational goals Expects resilience & robustness Degree of Intentional harm Self-interest Power, Money Praise Recognition Entitlement Achievement Following orders, Survival Motivation Serial Bullying Vulnerable Insecure Under Pressure
  • 18. What to do with Bullying?
    • Accidental
    • Confront and coach re behaviour
    • Can adapt & change
    • Acceptable costs
    • Insecure Destructive
    • Counselling, psychotherapy
    • Often can develop & change
    • Uphold company values
    • Set limits
    • Costly, but talent may be worth it
    • Psychopathic
    • Counselling, coaching, therapy
    • generally ineffective
    • Training is exploited
    • Self interest predominates, resists accountability
    • Cost always outweighs imagined benefits in long term
    • Organization seeks exit
  • 19. What to Do with Stress?
    • Effective, mobilising challenge leads to increased productivity
    • Recognise when pressure turns to stress
    • Diagnose the sources of stress
    • Bullying may be result of other stressors which can be modified
  • 20. Risk Management Plan 4.RISK MONITORING Regular stress audits and systems review informs policy 2.IDENTIFY HAZARDS HSE standards approach Or CTRE survey Focus groups 3. RISK CONTROL Reactive measures Proactive measures Prioritise actions 1.START HERE Safety system Audit Policy Gap Analysis
  • 21. Safety Audit
    • Gap Analysis of Reactive Safety System
      • Policies & procedures for psychological injury
      • Examine existing management system
    • Potential gaps or problems in policy
      • Managers exposed to safety hazard when required to confront dangerous situations e.g. the psychopathic bully
      • Bullied target loses job, bonds, status, money via grievance procedures
  • 22. Identify Hazards Sources of Pressure & Stress
    • Conditions for
    • ψ health
    • Supportive leadership
    • Organisational climate
    • (Cotton and Hart (2001)
    • Monitor Standards
    • Work Demands
    • Control, autonomy
    • Managerial Support
    • Peer Support
    • Relationships
    • Role
    • Change
    • (HSE Management Standards)
  • 23. Risk Matrix: Repeated Verbal Abuse over Time
    Low Risk Low risk Low risk Low risk Negliglible Injury Low risk Medium risk Medium risk Medium risk
    • Minor injury
    • Anxiety
    Low risk Medium risk High risk High risk
    • Major injury
    • Depression
    • Hospital
    Low risk Medium risk High risk Extreme risk Fatality (SUICIDE) Highly unlikely Unlikely Likely Very likely S E V E R I T Y
  • 24.  
  • 25. Isolation, abuse, demands, poor control, role clarity
    Low Risk Low risk Low risk Low risk Negliglible Injury Low risk Medium risk Medium risk Medium risk
    • Minor injury
    • Anxiety
    Low risk Medium risk High risk High risk
    • Major injury
    • depression
    • hospital
    Low risk Medium risk Low risk Extreme risk Fatality (SUICIDE) Highly unlikely Unlikely Likely Very likely S E V E R I T Y
  • 26. Define your Dilemmas
    • Do you want to provide both challenging business goals and safety from costly organisational stress?
    • Are you trying to balance safety and stability with innovation, agility, productivity?
    • Do you want to prevent a Change Vacuum which can be exploited by psychopathic behaviour?
    • Are you concerned about expensive stress litigation?
  • 27. Choose your Audit Tool
    • HSE Stress management
      • Considers point of view of the worker
      • Measures sources of pressure
      • Modifies work processes to reduce stress
    • CTRE Managed Change
      • Considers strategic direction of the business and the worker
      • Measures where change is on-track or off-track
      • Assesses pace, timing & effects of change
      • Finds very specific pockets of turbulence & their cause
      • Designs very specific, targeted solutions
  • 28. Identify & Measure Risks Health and Safety Executive Organisational Stress Indicator Tool
    • KEY
    • Doing very well-need to maintain performance.
    • Represents those at or above 80 th percentile
    • Good, better than average but needs improvement. Not yet close to those above 80 th percentile
    • Clear need for improvement. Represents those below average but not yet below 20 th percentile
    • Urgent action needed. Represents those below 20 th percentile
    4.00 3.33 2.75 Change 5.00 4.60 4.25 Role 4.75 3.75 2.69 Relationships 4.75 3.75 3.19 Peer support 4.60 3.60 3.05 Managerial Support 4.33 4.00 3.75 Control 4.25 3.25 2.84 Demands Long term target Interim target Your score
    • Turbulence
      • Assess risks and roadblocks
    • Resources
      • Training & capability
      • Systems and processes
      • Project support
    • Aligned Direction
      • Vision & values
      • Communication
    • Engagement
      • Change leadership
      • Involvement
    • Team leadership
      • Management skills
      • Feeling valued
      • Accountability
    • Emotional Energy
      • Passion & drive
      • Disturbance
  • 31. Multi-Level Intervention for a Resilient & Robust Culture
    • Primary Intervention : Strengthening the structure
      • Improving organisational processes and workplace practices, communications
    • Secondary intervention : Strengthening the culture
      • Group training and awareness raising in stress management, anti-bullying and communication
    • Tertiary intervention: Strengthening the people
      • Counselling for stressed staff
      • Leadership coaching for managers
      • (Robertson Cooper 2003)
  • 32. Psychopathic bully
    • Does not respond to any of this
    • Uses anti-bullying training to claim victimhood
    • Uses training to further exploit others and the business
  • 33. Strengthen the Organisation & Culture A Response to Bullying
    • Audit to bring bullying to light and focus training efforts
    • Train to set the tone: diversity, stress, bullying, discrimination, leadership, communication
    • Uphold values and vision against culture of gossip, rumour and malice
    • Individual remedial coaching
    • Monitor work practices to prevent isolation, destabilization, disorientation
    • Communicate openly to close down malign influence networks
  • 34. Monitor, Evaluate and Review
    • Progress Check (HSE or CTRE) on effectiveness
    • Monitor absence, sick leave, stress claims, exit interviews
    • Repeat measurement of organisational pressures
    • Measure cost benefit of interventions
  • 35. Case Study: Somerset County Council “A Great Place to Work” ________________________________________________
      • Stress audit
      • Intervention: Quality of Working Life program
      • Evaluation: Reduced sick days from10.75 in 2001/2002 to 8.29 in 2003/2004
      • Cost Benefit: Total saving of £1.93 million over 2 years
  • 36. 5 Key Points
    • Top management commitment is critical for the prevention of both bullying and stress
    • Locate a response to workplace bullying and stress within a multi-level programme
    • Primary, secondary and tertiary interventions may be combined in unique ways for each organisation
    • Cost benefits analyses have proven that substantial savings are obtained by re-allocating resources from reactive to proactive processes.
  • 37. Keryl Egan & Associates Pty Limited
    • P.O. Box 327
    • Leichhardt NSW 2040
    • Telephone 02 9564 0425
    • Mobile 0414 734 840
    • Email: kerylegan@
    • Website