PRESS RELEASE : CONFERENCE ON PSYCHOSOCIAL RISKS AT WORK Kifissia, Greece .June 9th, 2017

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Conference on “Psychosocial risks at work “   held with great success at Kifissia city, Greece on June 9th,2017.  The Conference was organized by the Free University of Municipality of Kifissia and the Institute on Social Dynamics. The event was under the auspices of the Municipality of Kifissia, which played an active supporting role.  The attendance of the audience was impressively high including representatives of the business world, associations and employees from the private and public sectors. The speakers were distinguished academics and specialists. They were also present deputy mayors, municipal and community councilors.

In his address, Mayor George Thomakos said  that local authorities are not just about cleanliness and waste management, they can also play a different and more substantial role in the society. «We are pursuing,» he said, «to open new paths with actions like this. Our goal is participation, optimism, hope and innovation. »

The conference was opened by Mrs.Maria-Christina Tsiama, municipal councilor, supervisor of the Free University, thanking all the eminent speakers and the employees of the Municipality who contributed to this team effort.

The first speaker was Dr.Nancy Papalexandris Emerita Professor in the Department of Marketing and Communication at Athens University of Economics and Business , who referred to the necessity of developing a positive organizational culture for the development of an organization, and also to  the individual characteristics of the employees, the Leadership style and characteristics of organization that influence it. She also talked about bullying at workplace, which has already been described in the United States as an epidemic that spreads and undermines the work performance, development and health of employees. She revealed that according survey conducted in European countries, Greece holds the third highest position at workplace bullying with score 13%.

Dr. Ioannis Konstantakopoulos, Mineral Engineer-Metallurgist Engineer, Ministry of Labor, referred to the European Union’s Health and Safety at Work campaigns, highlighting the negative impact of psychosocial risks on both employees  and businesses with estimated cost  billions €  for each Member State.

 

The meaning of Organizational Virtue was analyzed by Dr.Irene Nikandrou, Assistant Professor  in Human Resources Management and Organizational Communication at the Athens University of Economics and Business. She pointed out its positive effect on the emotional and social identity of the employees, but also on the performance of the organizations: Higher Innovation, Customer Retention, Higher Quality, Higher Profitability, Low Employee Retirement.

Impressive evidence from recent surveys that highlight Psychosocial risks in new and emerging business dangers were presented by Mrs. Margarita Vatista, representative of the Association of Greek Chemists at the National Council for health and safety at work.The 37% of work-related illnesses and the 45% of sick leave days are due to psychosocial risks.

Mrs. Theoni Koukoulaki, the representative of  ELINYAYE (Hellenic Institute of Health & Safety at work), pointed out that psychosocial factors are increasing during periods of restructuring and she extensively presented their  experience of restructuring  Municipalities under Kallikrates law. An EU-26 study, published in a WHO report(2011)  on the effects of crisis, states that every 1% increase in unemployment is associated with a 0.79% increase in suicides at  ages lower than 65.

The second section was organized and coordinated by the  Employment Attorney Mr.Evangelos Bellos. He attempted to highlight the role of the state, its control mechanisms and the role of the independent authorities in addressing the psychosocial risks and at the same time to show their legal dimensions and possibilities for assertion the claims and the rights of the victims .At this session :

Mr.Dimitrios Toukas, Labor Inspectorate, presented the evidence of the causes of work-related stress, their impact on employees and businesses and their strategies for dealing with them. Emphasis was placed on the orientation of interventions to tackle work-related anxiety at an association level, as well as on the importance of active participation of both employees and executives in the processes.

Mrs.Almalia Leventis, Special Scientist ,representing  the Independent   Authority  “The Greek Ombudsman” ,referred to the role and responsibilities of The Greek Ombudsman as  a monitoring body of the principle of equal treatment in the workplace, and as well as an anti-discrimination body. In particular, she referred to the possibility of citizens’ reporting to The Greek Ombudsman, their claims’ handling, and to their collaboration with the Labor Inspectorate. She also referred to the fact that the complainant employer has now the burden of proving himself to the court or other competent authority that there has been no breach of the principle of equal treatment or discrimination against workers.

 

 

Mr. Panagiotis Boubouheropoulos, lawyer and author, referred to the term mobbing – moral harassment – as well as the limited interest of the Greek scientific community in the phenomenon, which is not justified by the facts. The main aim of his lecture was to summarize the legal significance of the phenomenon of moral harassment at work and the legal consequences associated with them.

The counselor –at  law of The Centre of Athens Labor Unions (EKA) Mr. George Melissaris, highlighted cases of harassment from the jurisprudence of the Greek courts and the European Court of Human Rights, as well as the experience at a  union level. He also referred to the possibility of both extrajudicial resolution of the matter and provision of judicial protection, with a particular dimension in the attitude of trade unions.                              All the speakers reported in one way or another about weaknesses in the existing legislation.

 

The third thematic session started with the speech of Mr.Polichronis Kokkinidis, meditator lawyer , who presented the possibilities for out-of-court conflict resolution in the workplace through Mediation and stressed its long-term benefit to the organization.

Mrs. Christina Mazouropoulou, psychologist, representative of  Hellas  Employee Assistance  Programs Ltd, presented  measurement results of psychosocial risks and their impact on a large sample of Greek workers using the P.R.I.W.A. tool.

Mr.Christos Mantas,  sociologist, spoke about Burn out, a syndrome of physical and mental exhaustion, under which the employee loses the interest and positive emotions that  has towards the people, stops being satisfied with his work and performance, and forms a negative image for himself.

Mrs. Dora Vakirtzi, president of the Institute on Social Dynamics, presented the results of a burn-out survey for the nurses at the local hospital. The survey conducted in April 2017 by The Institute on Social Dynamics with  the intervention of Kifissia’s Mayor  Mr.Thomakos and in collaboration with the hospital’s management. She referred to specific strategies to face the problem at all three levels : hospital management, municipality’s social activity and personal empowerment.

The international experience of the positive effect of work on people with mental disabilities was transferred by Mrs. Ioanna Tsambalati-Vakalopoulou . She also described in details  the methodology of their reintegration into work.

Mr. Michalis Karatzas, Bureau Veritas Hellas, presented the SMETA Code of Conduct and the great positive influence that it could have its wider application in Greek workplace environment.

At the end , Mr. Kostantinos Kouros, Institute on Social Dynamics , presented the Life & Talent HR tool that  can diagnose  professional interests and talents. The importance of an appropriate career choice in enhancing resilience to work difficulties has been proven, by several means .It is even confirmed by the Burn-out survey for nurses presented earlier at this conference.

 

In conclusion, the organizers pointed out the need for collaboration of organizations and services for the exploitation of knowledge, dialogue aiming  to problem solving  and  they promised the continuation of relevant actions.

 

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Conference on «Psychosocial Risks at Work» on June 9th, 2017. Kifissia,Greece

The Institute on Social Dynamics in collaboration with the Free University of Kifissia Municipality organize conference on «Psychosocial Risks at Work». The conference will be held on June 9th at Kifissia Town Hall and is under tha auspices of Municipality of Kifissia.
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Five years after the relative  Ε.U campaign – Senior Labour Inspectors Committee, SLIC, we like to identify the current situation in Greek workplace (private and state). It seems that the severe economic crisis and  the high rate of unemployement, combined with incomplete knowledge and conservative perceptions on  management led to dramatic worsening of problem.

We invited Academics, Lawyers , Doctors , Sociologists, Organizations , Federations and State to present current surveys, discuss and contribute in a common effort to improve workplaces,because our strong belief is that we can not succeed economic development for our country without safe and healthy workplaces where employees will enjoy  creative work  by using  their knowledge and talents.

Conference press release “Minor Asia Catastrophe as pedagogical means in Management, Leadership, Crisis Management and HR”

Conference press release

“Minor Asia Catastrophe as pedagogical means in Management, Leadership, Crisis Management and HR”

 

Athens, October 2nd ,2016.

By Dora Vakirtzi, President of Institute on Social Dynamics

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The Institute on Social Dynamics is a think tank on social dynamics.  It analyzes, studies and propose solutions to social problems that hinder Social Dynamics. Based on these, it plans and implements projects with relative scope.

Working on social problems that block development of industry in Greece we noticed some findings quite relative with those found when studying Minor Asia Catastrophe, like poor management and leadership skills and most important the low social cohesion. On the other hand, It is well known that Human sciences (History is among them) could develop creative and critical thinking , which is necessary for successful innovators.

Furthermore, Greek Enterprises are working hard for survival and development in conditions of local economic recession in very competitive international markets. Managers have daily to make tough decisions fast. It is quite common in developed countries, managers to study wars, important battles, strategy of successful marshals to be inspired  from  their successful or wrong decisions.

Studying Minor Asia Catastrophe , we realized that from this emblematic period that changed the map of Hellenism and had quite tragic cost , we can use several case studies for management , leadership, HR and crisis management.

So on October 2nd at Estia Neas Smyrnis , The Institute on Social Dynamics organized   conference  with the theme “  Minor Asia Catastrophe as pedagogical means in Management, Leadership, Crisis Management and HR”

The excellent speakers participated were:

-Mr.Stratis Zafeiris, General Secretary for Industry of  Hellenic Ministry of Economy, Development & Tourism.

Mr.Zafeiris presented the necessity of an holistic approach and careful planning on Industrial development, setting targets on most favorable sectors where efforts should focus. State has to offer flexible services supporting and not manipulating private sector.  Furthermore, it is crucial for small enterprises to overcome obstacles arising from their small size through collaboration with others. He also underlined that the most proper development model is the one based on differentiation and added value products/services where creative thinking is precondition.

He noticed that working systematically state and private sector towards  these directions, we can develop again industrial production that can stand out in global markets.

-Dr. Vlassis Agtzidis , Historian, Author of 16 books, awarded by Academy of Athens for writing the  (http://kars1918.wordpress.com/)

Dr. Agtzidis noticed that Minor Asia Catastrophe on 1922, was the real and symbolic end of a great historic procedure, associated with the final entry of Near East to nation-state era.

The transformation of multinational, islamic Othoman Empire was not peaceful and bloodless. It was associated first with the collapse of internal reform efforts, due to the emergence of a novel militarist nationalist movement, the one of the Young Turks.

The Young Turks tried to solve the national issue with the extermination and exclusion of populous Christian communities and forcibly convert the multi-ethnic Muslim populations in  Turks’ nation. This internal procedure led to unprecedented homogenization methods of the society, methods that humanity will realize a few decades later by the absolute horror of the Holocaust.

Historical starting point is the military coup of nationalist Young Turks in 1908. The physical extermination of Christian populations in the Ottoman Empire was decided and planned in order to reduce the financial strength of the «slaves» by imposing forcible transfer capital from Christians to Muslims and build a Turkish bourgeoisie.

The Greeks of the Ottoman Empire before 1914 were about 2.2 million in a total population of about 10 million. Their economic power was greater than their population proportion. It is estimated that 50% of invested capital in industry and 60% in manufacturing industries belonged to Ottoman Greek communities.

At the same time the Greeks in Greece were 4.5 million and lived in a completely different way, concerning  social and civic terms. The productive forces were poorly developed like other structures that were essential for a nation-state. The actual structural weaknesses will lead to an ideological «overcompensation» based on ancient recall, the revival of a dead past as compensation to real cultural identity of Greek centers outside Greece itself. It will also establish self-recognition by the ideology of the «metropolis» as a superiority feeling.

The key feature in the development of the Greek society is the absence of major urban strata. This will lead to overactivity of the state sector, thus creating strong bonds between free market and state-party function. The policy of the new state was quite introvert. There was only the emergence of Bulgarian nationalism that claimed territory of Macedonia and Thrace, that motivated forces in Greece. There will be a severe rupture between old conservative policy represented by monarchy of King Constantine and reformists represented by El.Venizelos.

The internal contradictions of the Greek Hellenism will lead to a loss, which was not predetermined at all.

The Government of Popular Party that elected in 1920 will follow completely irrational policy which finally led to Kemal’s victory and Minor Asia Catastrophe. After that the Greek state chose a policy of oblivion.

 

-Mr. Nick Kakaris, Management consultant for Organization and Information Technology. He has long experience in Business Administration at multinational business groups (3E Coca Cola, DELTA, General Foods etc) and state organizations (as General Director of the Observatory for the Information Society).

Mr.Kakaris presented several cases from Minor Asia expedition showing lack of management skills, complete absence of crisis plan, inadequate knowledge of battlefield , insufficient information for the enemy.He also analyzed the completely different  leadership skills of General  N.Trikoupis and  Colonel N.Plastiras and how these affected the development of war.

Mr Kakaris noticed that similar attitudes we can see in business field today eg lack of collaboration culture, insufficient knowledge of competition and global markets and trends, inferior management skills , missing  crisis management knowledge. History is our society’s experience and  this knowledge should be exploited.

Mrs.Liana Lekanidis, HR Consultant with great professional  experience, collaborating with private and state organizations, Enterprise owner

Mrs.Lekanidis’  speech based on the interesting autobiography of Constantine Politis (Minor  Asia , C.N.Politis, Kedros Editions 1977).

Literature brings us the experience and the feelings of people who live the certain historic period . This autobiography is quite interesting due to the long duration (1917-1924) and the variety of experiences the author had. Studying it by HR theory , Mrs.Lekanidis showed that the author succeeded to survive due to  certain skills and attitude (team mentality, solidarity ,emotional intelligence, continuous shelf improvement etc), which are also  valuable remarks nowadays  as we have to overcome current crisis difficulties and react t with a creative way.

Mr. Stelios Fenekos, retired Admiral, with studies in management, international policy, strategy, crisis management and rich professional experience.

Mr.Fenekos gave emphasis on proper military training and how useful is for officers to know and respect the involvement of their subordinates in a project.                                                          He noticed that current  migration crisis  is a very difficult task  , apart of humanitarian side it is quite different  than  the refugee crisis of 1922 . The new crisis must not be handled only with humanitarian criteria , but with rational and professional management as well .

Managing it should take  in consideration the needs of these people but  also  their different cultural and in some cases their effort to  establish in Europe values quite different from European ones.  Just for managerial issues, state could use the skills of officers trained to manage big human groups.

Dr. Nikolaos  Uzunoglu, Professor at NTUA ,Division of Information Transmission Systems and Material Technology. He is also President of  Ecumenical Federation of Constantinopolitans.

Dr.Uzunoglu said that organizing commemorations for historical events like Minor Asia Catastrophe is useless if the scope is not  learning  from mistakes. Under this concept:

-Study of these facts should teach the importance of dialogue at national level to avoid divisions. This is primarily an issue of democracy, the development of perception dialogue and the importance of avoiding frontal collisions. Equally it means avoiding demagogic and populist attitudes and understanding of their consequences as in the case we are considering.

– History should be taught not as a series of events but  to disclosure mechanisms acted and act in  their configuration.

Concerning Military Schools and Political Studies , there should be will be organized courses that enable students’ critical thinking about events like this. Especially in military schools there should be taught contemporary history of Turkey and the Greeks of Near East in light of the above principles. Postgraduate studies should also be offered for the above mentioned issues.

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THE EXHIBITION

In parallel with this conference , The Institute on Social Dynamics organized an exhibition in collaboration with Mr. Nikos Kardasilaris, businessman and collector. A small part of Mr.Kardasilaris collection was presented under the theme: The Greek Posts in Minor Asia the period of expedition 1919-1922. The exhibits offered supplementary information and the emotion of “touching “ the traces of history.

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