Depending on the nature of the services offered, there can be workplace efficiencies achieved by leveraging advances in technology. After rolling out new systems or processes, sometimes a portion of the workload no longer needs to be done by people. For an organisation in this situation, the investment in technology can lead to a reduction in people and consequently a reduction in labour costs.

However the introduction of a new system or technology does not always reduce the workload of the organisation as much as first hoped. In these situations, the now reduced numbers of staff are then put under increased stress to make up the shortfall.

Under-resourced departments struggle to meet the expectations of their clients. If it is an ongoing situation, clients in need then become frustrated with the poor level of support. For some clients (and even some staff!), this frustration can lead to aggressive behaviours.

Staff who are over worked may find it more difficult to placate challenging clients and may miss early opportunities to de-escalate the situation. As a result, both the client and the staff member are more stressed as a consequence of the terse interaction.

And if nothing changes before the client next seeks support, the downward cycle continues …

Thoughtful and sustainable design of workplaces, work procedures and realistic staffing levels can avoid the need for reactive solutions to potentially avoidable instances of aggression and violence.

Can you think of ways to redesign the way you support your clients that will keep you safer while meeting the expectations of your clients?

Holland Thomas & Associates

Travis Hol­land
Man­ag­ing Direc­tor
Hol­land Thomas & Asso­ciates
Travis Holland email address