Rebecca Saladin and Marc Seematter participated in an interview online from Plattenstrasse 54’s new office. After various temporary locations, the employee support office found a permanent home on the top floor of a typical stylish villa in Zurich-Hottingen.
The two co-leaders of UZH’s employee services are clearly pleased with the new facility. “We are in the heart of the university district, but well away from the hustle and bustle of the UZH main building, where we have the privacy and relaxed atmosphere we need to work,” says Saladin. She wants people who come here for appointments to feel comfortable from the moment they walk the door, once or several times. “We believe that those seeking advice can more easily engage in counseling situations in a quiet and comfortable environment.”
Seek expert support
Saladin and Seematter know from experience how difficult it is for many to seek professional support when faced with work difficulties. “We all have some restraint when it comes to asking for help,” says Mark Seamatter, who provides legal advice and mediation in work-related disputes. Some are afraid to go into complete treatment, while others are worried that speaking will have formal internal measures, investigations, or widespread consequences.
Psychologist Rebecca Saladin reassures us in this regard. In very complex situations, if people need longer-term support, turn to other services inside and outside UZH. “
Seematter is also keen to dispel all worries. “We are completely independent and everything that is said in our office is completely confidential. We are not to mention the experts and disciplinary bodies that direct UZH’s others and offices. , There is no obligation to provide information to other parties. Talking to us has no effect. “
Great demand for psychological counseling
The Employee Support Office provides short-term counseling focused on three advisory services: psychological counseling for stressful work-related situations, legal advice on work-related issues, and arbitration and mediation between parties in work-related disputes. Intended as a service.
Last year, 160 UZH staff from all faculties and various central services departments contacted the Employee Support Office for advice and support. Almost 50% of requests are psychological counseling and dominate office activities.
In addition, there were purely requests for legal advice, most of which were related to questions about working conditions, the authority to issue directives, or potential or explicit dismissals. About 30% of requests required multifaceted advice and support. “Sometimes,” explains Mark Seamatter. “Legal issues are in the foreground, and in the background, personal or interpersonal issues also play a major role in scrutiny, while legal issues are involved during psychological counseling. And sometimes there is a need for mediation between the various parties to the dispute. “
Individual evaluation of the situation
“People who rely on us for psychological counseling often find themselves in complex, problematic, or complex situations, so the first consultation is used to assess the situation and reveal details. “Rebecca Saladin says. In the first conversation, when employees explain the problem and Saladin listens and asks questions, it is often possible to identify the problem in a seemingly deadlock situation relatively quickly. “The second step is to develop a potential solution to the concerns raised.”
For difficult work situations, psychologists look at both the structure, the work procedures and processes that involve people, and the areas of interpersonal relationships, especially communication with colleagues and bosses. The main questions she asks herself are: What is the room for maneuvering for those seeking advice? What measures can they take independently to improve the situation? And what steps are available to support employee self-empowerment and self-care? “People are often surprised at how much creative freedom and influence they actually have in the workplace.”
According to Saladin, this is the main purpose of the employee support office, which allows people seeking help to follow a defined path independently and find unique solutions to difficult situations. Is to do so.
University of Zurich: Understanding Knotty Problems-Education in India | Latest Education News | Global Education News
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