Guide to Post-Employment Health

Post-employment brings significant changes to your life. Too many people die too quickly after employment. The objective of this workshop is to introduce each delegate to lifestyle decisions which ensure long term wellbeing.

Understanding that we react to change;

The relationship that individuals have with their job and organization they work for,

The emotional reaction that people have to organization change,

How fear of learning new things and an unwillingness to relinquish current working

practices drives our reaction to change.

Preparing for the Next Stage of your Life;

What will change and how will you cope?

Should the outcome of retirement always be less money, more time?

The effect of retirement on partner and family

A positive view of the future.

Developing existing and new interests;

Satisfying ambitions, Travel and holiday ideas,

Further work opportunities (full, part-time, paid or voluntary.

Managing your Health as a retiree;

The Pros & Cons of Exercise,

Health Checks, Blood Pressure & Cholesterol, Small Changes = Benefits.

Understanding that we react to change;

The relationship that individuals have with their job and organization they work for,

The emotional reaction that people have to organization change,

How fear of learning new things and an unwillingness to relinquish current working

practices drives our reaction to change.

 

The Psychological Contract

The psychological contract can be distinguished from the legal contract of employment. The latter will, in many cases, offer only a limited and uncertain representation of the reality of the employment relationship. The employee may have contributed little to its terms beyond accepting them.

The psychological contract on the other hand looks at the reality of the situation as perceived by the parties, and may be more influential than the formal contract in affecting how employees behave from day to day. It is the psychological contract that effectively tells employees what they are required to do in order to meet their side of the bargain and what they can expect from their job. It may not – indeed in general it will not – be strictly enforceable, though courts may be influenced by a view of the underlying relationship between employer and employee, for example in interpreting the common law duty to show mutual trust and confidence.

What happens if the contract is broken?

If the psychological contract is broken there are a number of impacts:
  • a negative impact on job satisfaction
  • a negative impact on the commitment of the employee
  • a negative impact on employee engagement.
Managers need to remember:
  • Employment relationships may deteriorate despite management’s best efforts: nevertheless it is managers’ job to take responsibility for maintaining them.
  • Preventing breach in the first place is better than trying to repair the damage afterwards.
  • Where breach cannot be avoided it may be better to spend time negotiating or renegotiating the deal, rather than focusing too much on delivery.
What has persuaded people to take the psychological contract seriously? Changes currently affecting the workplace include:
  • more employees on part-time and flexible work.
  • organisations downsizing and delayering, meaning remaining employees have to do more.
  • markets, technology and products constantly changing.
  • technology and finance becoming less important than human resources as sources of competitive advantage.
  • traditional organisational structures becoming more fluid.
The effect of these changes is that employees are increasingly recognised as the key business drivers. The ability of the business to add value rests on its front-line employees or ‘human capital’. Organisations that wish to succeed have to get the most out of this resource. In order to do this employers have to know what employees expect from their work. The psychological contract offers a framework for monitoring employee attitudes and priorities on those dimensions which can be shown to influence performance.

Employer brand

Employees in large organisations do not identify any single person as the ’employer’. The line manager is important in making day-to-day decisions but employees are also affected by decisions taken by senior management and HR. Employees may have little idea who, if anyone, is personally responsible for decisions affecting their welfare or the future of the business. Unsurprisingly surveys confirm that employees tend to feel more confidence in their line manager, whom they see on a regular basis, than in members of senior management. In order to display commitment employees have to feel that they are being treated with fairness and respect.

The changing employment relationship

The traditional psychological contract is generally described as an offer of commitment by the employee in return for job security provided by the employer – or in some cases the legendary ‘job for life’. The recession of the early 1990s and the continuing impact of globalisation are alleged to have destroyed the basis of this traditional deal since job security is no longer on offer. The new deal is said to rest on an offer of fair pay and treatment by the employer plus opportunities for training and development. On this analysis, an employer can no longer offer security and this has undermined the basis of employee commitment.

The kinds of commitment employers and employees might make to one another and reflect in an employment proposition are:




Employees promise to: Employers promise to provide:
Work hard Pay commensurate with performance
Uphold company reputation Opportunities for training and development
Maintain high levels of attendance and punctuality Opportunities for promotion
Show loyalty to the organisation Recognition for innovation or new idea
Work extra hours when required Feedback on performance
Develop new skills and update old ones Interesting tasks
Be flexible, for example by taking on a colleague’s work An attractive benefits package
Be courteous to clients and colleagues Respectful treatment
Be honest Reasonable job security
Come up with new ideas A pleasant and safe working environment
 

Many employers recognise employee concerns about security and indicate that compulsory redundancy will be used only as a last resort. However employers know they are unable to offer absolute security and employees do not necessarily expect it. Indeed many younger people are not interested in the concept of a job for life, being more likely to move between jobs and change careers.

The state of the psychological contract

Research suggests that while organisations have been de-layering and reducing the number of middle management posts many continue to offer careers and that most employees have adjusted their career expectations of individual employers downwards. Many will be satisfied if they believe that their employer is handling issues about promotion fairly. They may also benefit from the opportunity to negotiate alternative career options.

The recession has had an increasingly negative impact on employee attitudes, including in relation to job satisfaction and security. This suggests that managers face a serious challenge to restore and maintain employees’ commitment in both private and public sectors. A positive psychological contract typically supports a high level of employee engagement.

Strategic implications of the psychological contract: emotional reactions

The psychological contract may have implications for organisational strategy in a number of areas, for example:
  • Process fairness: people want to know that their interests will be taken into account when important decisions are made; they would like to be treated with respect; they are more likely to be satisfied with their job if they are consulted about change.
  • Communications: an effective two-way dialogue between employer and employees is a necessary means of giving expression to employee ‘voice’.
  • Management style: in many organisations managers can no longer control the business ‘top down’ – they have to adopt a more ‘bottom up’ style. Crucial information, which management need, is known by employees from their interactions with customers and suppliers.
  • Managing expectations: employers need to make clear to new recruits what they can expect from the job. Managing expectations, particularly when bad news is anticipated, will increase the chances of establishing a realistic psychological contract.
  • Measuring employee attitudes: employers should monitor employee attitudes on a regular basis as a means of identifying where action may be needed in order to improve performance.
Breach of the psychological contract can seriously damage the employment relationship. It is not always possible to avoid a breach but damage is less likely if managers are open with employees about the issues that need to be addressed.

(source cipd)

 

Preparing for the Next Stage of your Life;

What will change and how will you cope?

Should the outcome of retirement always be less money, more time?

The effect of retirement on partner and family?

A positive view of the future.

 

SYNDICATE DISCUSSIONS

Developing existing and new interests;

Satisfying ambitions, Travel and holiday ideas,

Further work opportunities (full, part-time, paid or voluntary.

Silver Travel Advisors have compiled their top tips for getting the best out of a touring holiday.
  1. Choose an experienced and reputable company – brochures and websites are helpful, but independent reviews and actual experiences from other travellers are much better.
 
  1. Make sure you understand what is and isn’t included in the overall cost -especailly food because some hotels are B&B only. The cost of additional excursions can quickly add up, too.
 
  1. Hotel restaurants can have very limited dinner menus. Check this out before reserving a table because nearby restaurants can usually offer a much wider range of choices or local specialties.
 
  1. The tour guide can usually advise on the customary amount to tip in various locations for services like taxis and restaurants. At the end of an enjoyable tour, most people hand a suitable tip to the coach driver and the tour guide. If the same two people have accompanied the entire tour, then £10-20 each – per week, per person – is about right for a full-size coach. Perhaps tip a little more for a smaller party.
 
  1. On a multiple-journey tour, see if the tour company and your guide will operate a system of seat rotation – so that the same few people don’t grab the front seats with the best views and establish ‘ownership’.
 
  1. Hotel rooms can vary considerably in size and convenience – even in the same hotel. Sometimes an upgrade is possible but keep in mind that at a busy time, hotels used by tour companies are usually full.
 
  1. Beware of too many early starts – suitcases in the hotel reception by 8am, or even earlier, can become very tiresome very quickly.
 
  1. Be prepared for weather variations between various regions and different altitudes – and check the longer range forecasts before travelling.
 
  1. Have suitable shoes for the sight-seeing on foot – which can sometimes last two or three hours and may also include different surfaces. Cobblestones and gravel paths are not suitable for flip-flops or high heels!
 
  1. Know your limitations for sight-seeing so that you don’t embark on a walking tour which proves to be too arduous.
 

Flexible working

Many of us would like to continue working, but with a few changes to our current job. These could be reduced hours, a different role, or more flexibility over working arrangements. It’s worth discussing this with your employer, emphasising the benefits to the organisation – such as retaining your skills and experience, or avoiding the cost of recruiting a replacement. If you are a carer for an adult (a partner, relative or someone you live with), your employer has a duty to consider your request for flexible working and to give you reasons if they refuse it.

 

Skills and qualifications

Learning new skills can be a great route to finding work, changing your job or improving your prospects in your current career. Training courses will give you new skills and can also lead to qualifications. Recent training should also help you to stand out from the crowd during the selection process for recruitment or promotion, as it will show employers that you are serious about the job.

You may know exactly what training you need to achieve the goal you’ve set yourself. For example, if you decide to change career and become a teacher, you will obviously need to enrol in teacher training. Or you may not have clear career plans, or know exactly how new skills and qualifications might help. Training can open the door to new opportunities and a more satisfying working life. Start by deciding where you want to be in future, whether it’s the same job but with more confidence, or doing something completely new. Then you can go about acquiring the skills to make it happen.

When you’re over 50, think carefully about what learning will be best suited to your circumstances. You’ll need to decide whether the time and money that a course entails will be worthwhile, taking into account how many years you plan to work afterwards and how likely the course is to improve your employment prospects. If you have years of work behind you, it may be better to opt for short courses designed to plug specific gaps that you have identified.

 

Volunteering

Volunteering is an excellent way of gaining skills and experience if you’re looking to get back into work. Not only is it rewarding in itself and benefits other individuals and your community, but it can also sometimes be a direct way into paid employment with the organisation you volunteer for. However, you should not expect this as a matter of course. Volunteering opportunities include:
  • volunteering for a community group EG becoming a school governor
  • joining the board of trustees for a charity
  • conservation work OR working in a charity shop
  • volunteering for a campaigning organisation
Organisations usually pay volunteers for their out-of-pocket expenses, such as travel costs

Managing your Health as a retiree;

The Pros & Cons of Exercise,

Health Checks, Blood Pressure & Cholesterol, Small Changes = Big Benefits.

Improving your fitness

As you get older, it’s important to be as active as you can.

Regular physical activity will help you maintain strength, flexibility and energy levels, so you can carry on doing the things you enjoy and stay independent.

There are many daily activities that will keep you fit and healthy.

Try taking a brisk walk, for example, or doing some gardening or dancing.

If you need help moving about or don’t usually do any exercise, doing any amount of activity is better than nothing. It’s never too late to start and you can gradually build up your physical activity. Reducing the amount you move about can actually make you more prone to falling as your muscles become weaker.

Aim to be active every day and build up to two-and-a-half hours per week of moderate intensity activity (activities that get you breathing harder and your heart pumping faster) in bouts of ten minutes or more

Do activities that improve muscle strength at least twice a week – these are activities that strengthen muscles throughout your body by using your body weight or working against a resistance

Do activities that improve balance and co-ordination twice a week – this is important if you have had a fall or are afraid of falling. Limit or break up the time you spend sitting still.

 

Improving your strength and balance

Activities that improve muscle strength and balance are particularly important as you get older. They can make it easier to get up out of a chair, and because they improve your posture, co-ordination and balance, they’re an effective way to reduce the risk of falling.

The kinds of activities that will help your strength and balance might be using the stairs frequently, if it’s safe for you to do so; slowly and repeatedly rising to a standing position from a chair; playing badminton, taking up ballroom dancing, yoga, or joining a walking group; attending special strength and balance exercise classes, tai chi classes or exercise to music classes

Exercises that improve your balance – often known as balance training – can be especially helpful if you have an illness that causes joint pain as they help overcome stiffness and unsteadiness. Best of all, they can make it easier to get out and about without needing to have someone with you.

Once you know what kind of physical activities are right for you, remember to start gently and build up gradually. Aim to do a little bit more every day. Most people find being more active easier than they expected – and more enjoyable. The more you enjoy an activity, the easier it is to keep it up, and that’s when you’ll really reap the benefits. You may be surprised by how much you can achieve.

It’s important to keep trying to progress, for example, by doing a balance-training exercise for 30 seconds and building it up to 40 seconds the next time. This could be something like slow heel raises, either on your own or supported by someone else. Practice makes perfect and it’s important to maintain a good fitness level, so you

should do whatever you’re able to on a regular basis. Exercises that make your legs stronger will help prevent falls, so don’t give up on your physical activities because you’ve had a fall or are afraid of falling.

If you haven’t exercised in a while, or you have worries due to a health condition, speak to your GP before starting a new activity. Remember that the day after you have done some strengthening activities, your muscles will feel a bit stiff. This is quite normal and shows the activity had a positive effect. You should always begin any exercise with a warm-up to prepare your body and finish with cool-down exercises. If you experience chest pain or feel faint, stop exercising immediately and contact your GP.

Eyecare

Glasses fitted with bifocal or varifocal lenses can make objects and surfaces appear closer than they really are, so they might cause you to trip or lose your balance, particularly on stairs. If you’ve had problems with these glasses or are considering them, ask your optician for advice. It’s recommended that you have your eyes checked and your glasses prescription reviewed at least every two years (every year if you’re over 70), or as often as your optician advises. Have a regular eye test even if you think your sight is fine, as it can detect any eye conditions at an early stage.

Osteoporosis

If a minor bump or fall results in a broken bone, then it could be because of a condition called osteoporosis. This causes bones to become fragile and break more easily. Your risk of osteoporosis is increased by:
  • a history of osteoporosis in your close family
  • heavy drinking, smoking and lack of exercise
  • long-term use of corticosteroid medication
  • in women, an early menopause or hysterectomy with removal of the ovaries
  • in men, low levels of testosterone following surgery for some types of cancer
  • your age – the older you are, the more likely you are to develop this condition.
The strength of your bones makes a big difference to the effect of a fall. You can help keep your bones strong by eating a diet rich in calcium and making sure that you get enough vitamin D.

Blood Pressure: Key to Heart Health

Your doctor tells you your blood pressure numbers, or you hear the doctors on ER shout “pressure’s dropping!” Do you actually know what that means?

Blood pressure consists of two numbers. Your systolic pressure measures the pressure of blood against artery walls when the heart pumps blood out during a heartbeat, while the diastolic pressure measures the same pressure between heartbeats, when the heart fills with blood. Both of these numbers are important. Just because one is normal doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.
  • Normal blood pressure is below 120/80.
  • Pre-hypertension is 120 to 139 (systolic) and/or 80 to 89 (diastolic).
  • Hypertension – also known as high blood pressure — is 140 or higher (systolic) and 90 or higher (diastolic).
One in three adults in the U.S. — about 74 million people — has high blood pressure or pre-hypertension. Between 1996 and 2006, the number of deaths from high blood pressure rose by more than 48%.

Cholesterol: Predictor of Heart Attack

Cholesterol isn’t all bad — it’s a type of fat that’s actually a nutrient. But as you’ve probably heard, there’s “good” cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol. When we measure cholesterol and blood fats, we’re really talking about three different numbers: HDL, LDL, and triglycerides. They combine to give you a “lipid profile” score, but the three individual scores are most important.

Here are the numbers to strive for:
  • Total cholesterol of 200 mg/dL or lower.
  • HDL (“good” cholesterol) of 50 mg/dL or higher, if you’re a woman, or 40 mg/dL or higher, if you’re a man.
  • Optimal LDL is 100 or lower. If you have other major risk factors, like pre-existing cardiovascular disease or diabetes, your doctor may want your LDL closer to 70.
  • Triglycerides of less than 150 mg/dL.
LDL is the number most doctors and heart health programs focus on in particular. Every single point of LDL decrease makes a difference.

If your LDL is at 140 and you get it down to 130, that’s great, even if you haven’t reached optimum levels yet.

Adults 20 and older should get a lipid profile every five years.

 

Further reading

Books and reports
CONWAY, N. and BRINER, R. (2005) Understanding psychological contracts at work: a critical evaluation of theory and research. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

TRUSS, C., SOANE, E. and EDWARDS, C. (2006) Working life: employee attitudes and engagement 2006. Research report. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Managing the psychological contract: using the personal deal to increase business performance. Aldershot: Gower.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Retirement-Manual-Step—step-Prosperous/dp/0857331612/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366819388&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Good-Retirement-Guide-2013-Everything/dp/0749468173/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366819388&sr=1-2

 

PRIME

A national organisation dedicated to helping people over 50 set up in business.

Astral House1268 London RoadLondon SW16 4ER

Tel: 0800 783 1904 www.primebusinessclub.com

RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme)

Places older people as volunteers in their local communities.

237 Pentonville RoadLondon N1 9NJ

Tel: 020 7643 1385 Email: rsvpinfo@csv.org.ukwww.csv-rsvp.org.uk

Posted in Health and Wellbeing