Supportive employers key to staff welfare

It is a wise move on the part of the Healthcare Services Employees' Union and the Association of Psychotherapists and Counsellors (Singapore) to look after the welfare of their workers (Boosting healthcare workers' mental well-being; Sept 27).

Today's working environment requires most employees to multitask.

Thus, it is not uncommon for staff to suffer from burnout when they are unable to cope with the heavy workload.

With jobs hard to come by, stressed-out employees often bottle up their frustrations and emotions, as they are fearful that their bosses will view them as being uncommitted if they complain.

Having a frank discussion with their boss on their workload requires the right mindset.

When employers create an environment where workers feel comfortable to speak up on any issue that is troubling them - be it personal or work-related matters - then any stressed-out worker would willingly step forward to seek help.

When workers go through tumultuous periods in their personal lives, with their families for instance, they would not be able to balance family and work at the same time.

In such instances, an understanding and compassionate manager can make a big difference in helping an employee to cope.

Healthcare workers, in particular the frontline staff, can better manage their duties if they have an understanding of stress and mental health issues.

In addition, strategies to deal with overwork must be taught to frontline staff.

Raymond Anthony Fernando

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2017, with the headline 'Supportive employers key to staff welfare'. Print Edition | Subscribe