Wellbeing of staff within probation

Discussion forum for general probation topics

Wellbeing of staff within probation

Postby Zappa's gurl » Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:21 pm

I need your views. Please share far and wide
I'm really concerned over my own and my colleagues well-being within Probation. it has always been a difficult job but the changes over the last year (and for much of the time prior to that) I believe have had an ever-growing negative impact on individuals and team's well-being, morale and our lives in general.

The nature of our job is one such that we are exposed daily to trauma and aggression. We deal with this numerous times daily and just continue without time for reflection or debrief. HIstorically only specialist teams have been given clinical supervision however I am interested in what all staff think we need to support us remaining in work and healthy in the workplace. The changes imposed by the government have meant that we have ever increasing case-loads, constant scaremongering from those above us about loss of cash and the need for boxes ticked whilst less and less time is given to the humans we 'manage' and work with day by day. Levels of stress are visible I believe. I see it in my colleagues on a daily basis. Simply pushing the workforce further and harder will not result in positive change for our clients nor for staff.

I know that my own well-being has been impacted and I want there to be positive change in the work place to look after our well-being as well as those we 'manage'. Such an idea fits in with the recent Mindful Nation UK report. I also believe that along with Mind UK we need to be positively talking about mental health and our experiences. I'm, therefore, interested in how we support ourselves and each other in the work place and it is my opinion that the use of formal supervision has become a check-list - have you done this? why haven't you done this? with little regard for staff as human beings. Management and employers need to look at the longer game and invest time and resources on their staff groups to enable us to be a productive and healthy workforce.

Please use the survey below to allow me to gather some opinions on this area. This is purely my own individual research and not linked to any one CRC/NPS. I aim to use this feedback to explore ideas for positive change in the workplace.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/G6TYPMG
Zappa's gurl
 
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Re: Wellbeing of staff within probation

Postby Zappa's gurl » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:43 am

Thank you to those of you who have taken the time to complete this questionnaire. There is a small number of respondents who have started but not filled in all questions. Can I ask, are there specific reasons as to why? Does the questionnaire need amending to be more user friendly?

Any thoughts or feedback is most welcome.
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Re: Wellbeing of staff within probation

Postby tabbycat » Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:55 pm

Your posts are dated 3/12 and 7/12 and you ask for views, thoughts and feedback as well as completion of the questionnaire. Let's hope that you've had a statistically significant number of the latter. You allude to some incomplete survey responses. I should say that the questionnaire crashed on me twice partway in. I blamed it on glitches at my end as I'm a Talk Talk customer and suffered a few weeks of anomalies. Maybe though the fault was rather somehow intrinsic and nothing to do with Talk Talk.
No comments thus far on your post - unless you've had any private ones? Probably not. This Forum has sadly become quite lifeless for lack of participation. I believe that social media now gets more activity. I take a Groucho Marx position on social media and abjure it by and large.
"exposed to trauma and aggression". Yes, I agree that this is a feature of the workplace. My only comment on that is to say that it is often from offenders/clients; but not always. I've had good managers. I've also had bullies, despots, top-down one way managers, neo-Stalinists,... who exposed staff to trauma and aggression. Further, Excessive Workloads including overbureaucratisation are a form of bullying and a failure of some managers to manage demand and supply factors.
I'd also point out that "supervision" isn't always a good thing. It too can be a form of bullying. Appraisals can frequently be subjective, opionionated, selectively-evidenced and bear no relation to how the person is seen by colleagues, Courts, Parole Board etc. There should be 360degree Appraisals but - so far as I know - the unions have never campaigned for them.
Many of us refer to "stuporvision" as nearer to reality.
I sympathise or agree with much of what you say. A caveat though: be careful what you wish for. More supervision, Mindfulness, counselling for staff,.. That's where I disagree. I take the view that staff morale problems and exhaustion are structural in cause. And answers must lie therein. But, it's easier from above to locate the weakness as being in the individual. I've been around a long time and, sadly, there's nothing new in that.
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Re: Wellbeing of staff within probation

Postby Tolkny » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:09 am

This Forum has sadly become quite lifeless for lack of participation. I believe that social media now gets more activity.


I note that an article in Wikipedia gives this list of types of "Social Media" and it includes Forums such as this.

Social media technologies take on many different forms including blogs, business networks, enterprise social networks, forums, microblogs, photo sharing, products/services review, social bookmarking, social gaming, social networks, video sharing, and virtual worlds.[9]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media#Classification_of_social_media

Andrew S Hatton
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Re: Wellbeing of staff within probation

Postby tabbycat » Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:12 am

Thanks for that, Andrew. Good to see that you're still looking in.

Unwittingly, you've more than confirmed my wish to avoid social media. My avoidance strategies stepped-up a gear as I read through the list. I don't even know what some of them are. Nor can I even imagine anyone wanting to see my ugly mug in a photo. I tend even to avoid mirrors. It's so expensive on a limited income (early pension) to keep replacing all my household mirrors after I keep on cracking them.

My very good wishes but I'll not explore parallel universes. I have enough trouble coping with my present one which all-too-often does seem to lack a sanity clause.

As for learning that this kind of Forum comes within the definition of "social media", I feel a little like Tartuffe who learned that he'd been speaking prose all along: a mixture of self-congratulation and possibly dismay plus some self-questioning as to where this might lead me next. Somehow though I think I'll just continue to "play tortoise" as far as other social media are concerned. Facebook in particular just annoys me when I see endless banal and trivial semi-literate onanism and photographs exuding "Look at me, where I am, what I'm doing",....zzz. Some posts I chanced upon recently had endless heaped plates of food and some kind of contest to finish them. I found the whole thing obscene. The state of the world needs less self-absorption, more altruism and selflessness.
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Re: Wellbeing of staff within probation

Postby tabbycat » Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:20 am

"Please use the survey below to allow me to gather some opinions on this area. This is purely my own individual research and not linked to any one CRC/NPS. I aim to use this feedback to explore ideas for positive change in the workplace" (quote).

A Note to Zappa's gurl:

Your post was dated 3rd December. Usually a survey has an opening date, a duration and a forward closing date. There then follows a period of collation, evaluation and write-up. After that follows publication of the results and comment along the lines of the quote I have lifted above.

Your survey doesn't seem to be following this familiar empirical route......?

Might I suggest that you now give a closing date for survey responses. Perhaps give four weeks' notice of same? Then, in due course publish the results.
It's probably obvious from my earlier comments that I had my quibbles with some of the questions and your direction of travel. But, if members have inputted - as did I - then they do merit a response from you. Your post was worthy and spoke from the heart, wanting to do something and to make a difference. The matter should not now be left hanging indefinitely and without making feedback.
Thank you.
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Postby Tolkny » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:04 am

Thanks for posting , if you are reading this please show Napo your interest by adding a comment, I read survey but did not complete as I am not a current NPS or CRC employee but an interested associate member of Napo.
Andrew S Hatton
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Re: Wellbeing of staff within probation

Postby tabbycat » Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:01 pm

Could an Administrator or Moderator assist here as nothing seems to be happening? Perhaps by contacting Zappa's gurl directly privately asking him/her to revisit this Post, to update and to call time on this consultation period?
Thank you.
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Re: Wellbeing of staff within probation

Postby Tolkny » Sat Apr 09, 2016 11:01 pm

I am sure that an administrator or moderator "could" fulfill such a request - but it seems unlikely that it will happen if the past is anything to go by!
Andrew S Hatton
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Re: Wellbeing of staff within probation

Postby Zappa's gurl » Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:45 am

Thank you to everyone who has filled in the form. Please accept my apologies for my brief absence as you may have deduced I do live with mental health issues and haven't been well until recently.

I'm very interested in your comments tabbycat. I take on board your point of closing date n feedback. I will close survey on 30th April. I will then look to publish some Results/ patterns within May. I must say I am a novice surveyor and this obviously shows in my surveys design. I wanted to start the discussion and was somewhat impatient in that respect.

Thank you again for your comments.
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