Managing Change in the Workplace...

Managing Change in the Workplace Workplace changes take place in every organization because of several reasons. Some of them are (i) administrative, (ii) upgradation of technologies, (iii) additions of new departments, units or branches because of expansion, and (iv) restructuring/reorganization within the organization etc. Whatever be the reason for the workplace changes, it throws certain challenges for the management. If the process of change is not managed properly, then it has adverse impact on the working of the organization. There are two major categories of change initiatives which the management adopts for the workplace changes. These initiatives result into either strategic changes or operational changes.  Example of the strategic workplace changes are those changes which take place due to the succession planning by the management. Operational workplace changes take place to meet the demand crated by technological upgradation, the additions of new departments, units, or branches because of expansion, or if a need arises in some departments due to the leaving of the present employees. During the strategic change initiative of the workplace change, the purpose of the initiative is changing the mind-set of the employee so that he can take higher responsibilities in future. In case of operational change initiative of the workplace usually management tries to pick up those employees who can pick up the processes of the new workplace quicker. However, the employees normally need some sort of introduction to the new processes and systems. During the workplace changes employees are introduced to the systems and processes of the new workplace. They need to learn them and adopt them quickly and swiftly. Further they may get non co-operation from some of the present employees of the new workplace since these present employees feel threatened in achieving their personal goals. Employees normally...

Managing Fatigue at the Workplace...

Managing Fatigue at the Workplace Fatigue is a physical and/or mental state caused by overexertion. It is an acute, ongoing state of tiredness that leads to mental or physical exhaustion and prevents people from functioning within normal boundaries. It is more than feeling tired and drowsy. It is a physical condition that can occur when a person’s physical or mental limits are reached. Fatigue can be caused by factors which may be work related, non-work related or a combination of both and can accumulate over time. In a work context, fatigue reduces an employee’s ability to perform work safely and effectively. It reduces the employee’s capabilities to an extent that may impair his strength, speed, reaction time, coordination, decision making, or balance. It can occur because of prolonged mental or physical activity, sleep loss and/or disruption of the internal body clock. Fatigue is caused by prolonged periods of physical and/or mental exertion without enough time to rest and recover. It is a catch-all term for a variety of symptoms, ranging from muscle pain to difficulty in concentrating, or sleepiness. It can compromise health and safety at work and is a common outcome of stress and shift-work. Fatigue is defined as ‘the temporary inability, or decrease in ability, or strong disinclination to respond to a situation, because of inadequate recuperation from previous over-activity which can be either mental, or emotional, or physical’. Fatigue can be considered as local or general, acute or chronic. Acute fatigue is the result of sudden and/or severe exposure or onset, while chronic fatigue usually develops after longer exposures, often of a significantly smaller intensity than present in acute fatigue. Chronic fatigue develops slowly. A common symptom of fatigue is an unpleasant, general sensation of weariness. Other outcomes of fatigue include...

Management of Workplace Stress...

Management of Workplace Stress Workplace stress occurs when there is a mismatch between the demands of the job and the resources and capabilities of the individual employee to meet those demands. It is the adverse reaction which the employees have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them. There is a clear distinction between pressure, which can create a ‘buzz’ and be a motivating factor, and workplace stress, which can occur when this pressure becomes excessive. Workplace stress is a matter of great concern.  Excessive stress can interfere with the employee’s productivity and impact the physical and emotional health and the ability of the employee to deal with it. It can mean the difference between success and failure. Stress has been defined in different ways over the years. Originally, it was conceived of as pressure from the environment, then as strain within the person. Stress is defined as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them”. The generally accepted definition today is one of interaction between the situation and the individual. It is the psychological and physical state that results when the resources of the individual are not sufficient to cope with the demands and pressures of the situation. Thus, stress is more likely in some situations than others and in some individuals than others. Stress can undermine the achievement of goals, both for the individual employee and for the organization. Earlier the typical response from the management to workplace stress used to be blaming the victim of the stress, rather than its cause. But presently the situation is changing and it is now being recognised that the management has a duty, in many cases enforced by the statutory authorities, to ensure that...

Corrosion of Steel and Corrosion Protection...

Corrosion of Steel and Corrosion Protection Corrosion is a multifaceted phenomenon that adversely affects and causes deterioration of properties in metals through oxidation. According to DIN EN ISO 8044 corrosion is defined as ‘Physical interaction between a metal and its environment which results in changes of the metal’s properties and which may lead to significant functional impairment of the metal, the environment or the technical system of which they form a part.’ Steel, the most commonly used material, corrodes in many media including most outdoor environments.  When unalloyed or alloyed steel without corrosion protection is exposed to the atmosphere, the surface takes a reddish brown colour after a short time. This reddish brown colour indicates rust is forming and the steel is corroding. While corroding the steel is getting oxidized to produce rust, which occupies approximately 6 times the volume of the original material consumed in the process. The corrosion process begins when a corrosive medium acts on the steel. The corrosion can be either chemical corrosion or electrochemical corrosion. Corrosion of steel is an electrochemical reaction that requires the presence of water (H2O), oxygen (O2) and ions such as chloride ions (Cl¯), all of which exist in the atmosphere. Atmospheric chloride ions are in greatest abundance anywhere near the coastline. This electrochemical reaction starts when atmospheric oxygen oxidizes iron in the presence of water. In addition, the atmosphere also carries emissions from human activity, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrous oxide (NO2) and many other chemicals, which can also be significant in the corrosion process. The schematics of general corrosion process are illustrated below in Fig 1 Fig 1 Schematics of general corrosion process Types of Corrosion Besides general corrosion, there are various types of localized corrosion...