Wellington, Mar 26 : Changes in the workplace are quite a routine phenomenon, but an Australian researcher has discovered that such changes may end up pushing employees towards mental breakdowns.
Lynda Nguyen, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) psychology researcher, has stated that this tendency could be particularly severe in those who have been working with a company or organisation for long.
She said that while some employees encountering a major shake-up at work, decide to leave, others resort to taking time off to deal with the psychological fall-out.
"I have definitely found quite a few groups of participants who have shared with me their views in terms of having or experiencing emotional breakdowns. They have had to take time away from the workplace to sort themselves out. The restructuring of the group has brought in a sense of: Well, who's the boss now?"' stuff.co.nz quoted Nguyen, as telling AAP.
She added that her study, which is in progress at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) at Lucas Heights south of Sydney could be applied to any organisation or company.
The upheaval could take many forms, including dramatic changes in systems, technology, restructuring of the whole organisation or work groups within it, relocations and integration of new staff, she said.
Long-time employees may not take role changes well thinking their prestige and power may be at stake when new employees were hired above them.
This led many to leave their jobs with years of valuable experience in hand. They did not care much about money and were more concerned with the changed dynamic in their workplace and their perceptions of how they fitted into it.
"With senior people, there may be some 22-year-old greenhorn coming in and managing them after they have been with the company for so many years," said Nguyen.
She said that the best way to help these employees cope with change is communication as what they need is reassurance that their jobs were safe. And also that the process of appointing new employees was being handled fairly and the company was sharing with them its vision for the future.