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Helping SMEs and NGOs with business pressure points

June 16, 2014

Helping SMEs and NGOs with business pressure points

For many small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners, and non-government organizations (NGOs) finding time to deal with organisational details and processes can seem overwhelming, but a new weekly service at Massey University’s Albany Centre for Psychology aims to provide an affordable service to help ease those pressure points.

Director of Professional Training in the School of Psychology Professor Stuart Carr says it’s an open service that will fill a gap that many SMEs and NGOs may find too expensive to access currently.

“Most of New Zealand’s businesses are small to medium enterprises, and we also have a lot of NGOs who don’t have a lot of money. Work psychology – industrial and organisational psychology – is often fairly expensive to access. It’s seen as something for the corporates and big government departments.

“This drop-in service is about reaching out to ordinary businesses — someone in the Albany area, for example, running a little garage or a cleaning firm on their own, having to write job descriptions, hire people, dealing with performance management, and then sometimes the negative aspects like stress management. Business owners carry a lot of stress overload, dealing with occupational health regulations – all those kinds of things that mean you’re having to deal with people without necessarily having the training.

Professor Carr says NGOs may be facing similar issues, whether they operate in New Zealand or abroad, and the added benefit of this service is that it is available by dropping by in person, or by dropping in electronically – from anywhere in the world.

“It’s designed to make industrial and work psychology accessible, and we have a diverse group of people, including professional clinician Anne Rundle and Dr Dianne Gardner, who can offer advice in areas like vocational guidance and managing workplace bullying – or the positive aspects of ensuring wellbeing at work. We also have consultants, including the director of the Centre for Psychology Dr Clifford van Ommen, consultant Jeff Godbout, and myself who all have experience working with NGOs, both internationally and locally.”

The service run every Friday morning from 8.30 am to 10.30 am, with initial consultation times set at 30 minutes. Consultations can be done either face-to-face or via Skype, and the first half hour is free. Any subsequent sessions are charged at NZ $70 per half hour, or part therof.

Professor Carr says the drop-in service offers a chance for business owners to find ways to manage the demands of being in business. “Things that you’ve never been trained for can be stressful – it can get more complicated as you go along, and as the business grows. How do I manage people, and make sure they get decent work opportunities? How do I foster wellbeing at work? We think this applied service will fill a need that is currently out there.”

To find out more about the drop-in service, visit the website:

Or contact the Centre for Psychology at the Albany Village Library Building on (09) 441 8175 or by emailing:


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