Auto suppliers grapple with employee stress, mental health

After years of trying to alleviate a devastating microchip shortage, another kind of crisis has emerged in the auto industry. Employers are grappling with growing mental health issues. This is a topic that has long been taboo in the workplace, especially in an industry defined by guts. and hustle.

In response to a general increase in stress and burnout across the workplace, the state announced Thursday it will launch a hub to centralize resources and strategies for addressing mental health.

The hub began with a working group launched last March and is driven by existing resources in the Labor Economy and Opportunity sector. Deputy Director Sean Egan said the agency is working on legislative proposals to secure funding for that.

Egan said the plan is to drill down into different sectors to identify industry-specific issues. Manufacturing and healthcare top the list as sectors most hindered by workplace mental health issues.

“What anxiety and depression tell us is that chronic stress is a precursor to our minds moving in that direction,” Egan said.

Egan will also host a monthly webinar focused on mental health starting January 19th.

“Generally, when we come out of the pandemic, there is a feeling that the workplace is not as vibrant as it used to be,” said Werthams. No, because they see mental health as a weakness.”

A survey of 11,300 U.S. employees in 2022 by the nonprofit Mental Health America found that 4 out of 5 respondents said workplace issues would affect their relationships with family, friends and colleagues. said to give. A third of employees say company management is open about mental health, and nearly 60% of respondents said they spent time looking for another job. .

Labor shortages continue not only in the automotive industry, but also in manufacturing plants and hospitals. The Fauvier factory near Detroit is having trouble hiring enough employees and balancing staffing with volatile customer production schedules, Halti said.

Absenteeism increases employee frustration, according to Michelle Kaminsky, associate professor of human resources and labor at Michigan State University. That’s because the workers who actually show up are forced to pick up the slack and are often pressured by their supervisors.

“Work is the number one stressor for many people, and it never used to be,” Kaminski said.

Across the 50 factories represented by the UAW Local 155, Halty said there has been a significant increase in employee issues related to stress, burnout and violence.

“It’s the job itself, the stressor of having to be a just-in-time factory where these parts have to be taken out,” says Halty. “Unfortunately, it’s maddening.”

In the Forvia case, after the suspect was arrested, the victim was taken to hospital, and he was pronounced dead, the factory reopened to make seats for a nearby Jeep Wagoneer. Stella Warren Truck Assembly Plant.

Halti said it’s not uncommon. The underlying rule of just-in-time manufacturing is to never shut down the customer.

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