Berlin / Düsseldorf - Doctors go to companies as coaches and, together with executives and employees, change structures that trigger stress and dissatisfaction. The chairman of the (BVDN) and chairman of the representative assembly of, Frank Bergmann, reports to the Deutsches Ärzteblatt. "The medical treatment of the individual is often too little, you have to include and change the entire work environment," he explains the motivation for the initiative.
5 questions to Frank Bergmann, Chairwoman of the
DÄ: Im that many employees suffer from stressors that cause illness: Mental illness is now the second most common reason for absenteeism. How do you experience this in practice? Bergmann: That started years ago. Every year more people come to us and need help because they can no longer cope with the stresses of the working world. There are often people in front of you who are completely exhausted. Quite few ask, however, not to put them on sick leave.
DÄ: What are the reasons for this? Bergmann: We often see combination of different triggers, such as high workload, lack of appreciation by superiors, lack of self-care and high performance demands on themselves. In our experience, especially with older employees, there is often fear for Workplace. It is absurd: skilled workers are becoming increasingly rare due to demographic developments, but it is often almost impossible for older workers to find suitable new job. This is one reason for the often invoked presentism, i.e. the phenomenon that employees struggle in the company despite their illness.
DÄ: Speak from burnout? Bergmann: Well, burnout is risk factor that we can treat well with early intervention. But if nothing happens and the disease-causing situation persists, then the burnout often leads to tangible mental illness. Very often this is depression. But you have to look very carefully - what is called burnout is often not burnout in the above sense, but rather depression from the start. Because that is also clear: not all states of exhaustion are the result of unfavorable working conditions. Often there is also mental illness behind it that does not develop in response to external circumstances.
DÄ: Let's stick with the exhausted employees. How do you help those affected? Bergmann: That is of course very different in individual cases.First of all, we have to start at the individual level and work out together with the patient: Where are the disease-causing factors? Are there opportunities for him as an individual to change them? Or are there compensation options that he can strengthen in order to deal better with the burdens? If this is not possible, we will consider together what alternatives exist, including changing jobs. It is often very difficult to resolve the situation through medical treatment of the individual alone; you have to include the entire work environment and change it if necessary.
DÄ: strong > Do you see opportunities there? Bergmann: Prevention has great potential, especially in medium-sized companies that do not have their own occupational medicine departments. Many companies are very open and want medical expertise. The BVDN has therefore designed training course and quality seal “Coach BVDN”. Neurologists, neurologists and psychiatrists learn how to coach employees - how to deal with stress, implement personal goals effectively, improve their own communication skills and there are other things on the program. On the other hand, they learn to advise companies on workplace design, management style and personnel development.