• Home
  • Other
  • Researach Concept paper on "What factors impact on social workers wellbeing in the workplace"

Researach Concept paper on "What factors impact on social workers wellbeing in the workplace" Essay Example

  • Category:
    Other
  • Document type:
    Research Paper
  • Level:
    Masters
  • Page:
    2
  • Words:
    980

Part A: Concept Paper

Factors that impact on social workers wellbeing in the work place: Bullying in the workplace.

Introduction

Social work services play an integral role in every society. Besides contributing to the growth of a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), social work services provide support, counseling and resources to vulnerable and stigmatised populations in the community (Shier & Graham, 2010). According to Shier & Graham (2010), the well being of social workers significantly influences their effectiveness and productivity while embarking on their roles. Therefore, the wellbeing of social workers is important if positive outcomes are to be realised. A number of studies have identified various factors that affect the wellbeing of social workers in the work place (Coffey, Dugdill & Tattersall, 2009; Kim & Stoner, 2008; Whitaker 2012). Some of the factors identified include; interrelationships in the workplace, pay, supervision, bullying, workload, work policies and nature of work (Shier & Graham, 2010; Whitaker 2012). These factors make social workers vulnerable to high stress levels (Coffey, Dugdill & Tattersall, 2009) and burnouts (Kim & Stoner, 2008) thus impacting on their effectiveness and productivity.

Area of Inquiry

This research paper seeks to look into factors that impact on social workers wellbeing in the work place. It will particularly focus on examining the prevalence of bullying in the social work settings and how it impacts on the well being of social workers who engage in community development. Additionally, it will seek to examine the effectiveness and adequacy of clinical supervision in the workplace as a measure of combating bullying.

Rationale and objectives of inquiry

Whitaker (2012) notes that, the prevalence of bullying in the workplace has increased over time. Bullying is a form of workplace violence that may involve physical assault, verbal abuse, sexual harassment and emotional abuse. In most cases, bullying is not perpetrated by strangers but rather by people in who interact within the organisation on a regular basis. Although numerous studies have examined bullying in the workplace and have tried to offer insights on how it can be averted, bullying continues to be problematic in a considerable number of organisations. Unlike random harassments that occur in public, bullying in the workplace is more problematic since the perpetrator and the victim have an ongoing power relationship.

Davenport, Schwartz & Elliott (2005) note that, bullying in the workplace is not only costly for the victims but also for the company that they work for. In a work environment where employees are constantly in fear or anxious over their mental and physical wellbeing due to bullying, their level of productivity is bound to diminish. Bullying can contribute to increased stressed, anxiety, sleeping disorders and clinical depression amongst employees. This may in turn cause high employee turnover, increased absences at work, reduced employee morale and motivation and poor company image. As a result, a company’s profitability and overall performance may be jeopardised (Davenport et al, 2005).

A number of studies have examined different aspects of social workers’ experiences in the workplace (DiGiulio, 2001; Mama, 2001; Wong, 2001). Some studies have given attention to issues relating to negative interactions amongst social workers such as sexual harassment and bullying (Whitaker, 2012). This study seeks to review existing studies that have examined the prevalence of bullying in the social work settings and how it impacts on the well being of social workers. In addition, it will seek to examine the effectiveness and adequacy of clinical supervision in the workplace as a remedy for combating bullying in the workplace.

This study hopes to reveal how bullying impacts on the wellbeing of social workers. It will illuminate the experiences of social workers who have been victims of bullying and how they have been affected physically, emotionally and mentally. It will also look into how bullying impacts on their work performance.

Key research questions

The key research questions that will be used in this inquiry include;

  • How does bullying occur in the social work settings?

  • What aspects in the work setting cause or influence bullying?

  • How does bullying impact on the physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of social workers?

  • How effective is clinical supervision as a remedy for combating bullying in the workplace?

  • Which measures can be put in place in order to deter acts of bullying in the work place?

Contributions of the study

The findings established through this study will hopefully provide invaluable insights to social workers and other relevant stakeholders within the social work settings on how they can identify potential causes and influences of bullying within the workplace. Moreover, it will equip social workers with relevant knowledge on how they can avoid and address incidences of bullying in the workplace. In addition to this, findings established in this study may inform policy makers on the need for work place policy reforms that will promote conducive workplace practices that will protect employees from bullying.

References

Coffey, M., Dugdill, L. & Tattersall, A. (2009). ‘Working in the public sector: A case study

of social services’. Journal of Social Work, 9(4), 420–442.

Davenport, N. Schwartz, R & Elliott G (2005). Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the workplace. Ames, Iowa: Civil Society Publishing.

DiGiulio J. (2001). ‘The power of collaboration: Developing a safety training program for student interns’. The Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work 7, 69-77.

Kim, H. & Stoner, M. (2008). ‘Burnout and turnover intention among social workers:

Effects of role stress, job autonomy and social support’. Administration in Social Work,

32(3), 5–25.

Mama R. (2001). ‘Violence in the field: Experiences of students and supervisors’. The Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work 7, 17-35.

Shier, M. L. & Graham, J.R (2010). ‘Work-related factors that impact social work practitioners’ subjective well-being: Well-being in the workplace’. Journal of Social Work 11(4), 401- 421.

Whitaker, T. (2012). ‘Social workers and workplace bullying: Perceptions, responses and implications’. Work 42, 115-123.

Wong, J. (2001). ‘The state of the profession, Research on Social.’Work Practice 11, 217-222.