Blog 2 - Is your workplace healthy?
Of course I hear you say; it’s easy to determine if your company is doing well. You’ll be consistently in the black, able to pay all of your monthly bills and expenses and so you believe you are in a healthy position.
- Revenue Is Growing
- Expenses Are Staying Flat
- Cash Balance Demonstrates Positive Long-Term Growth
- Debt Ratios Should Be Low
- Profitability Ratio Is on the Healthy Side
- You are working With New and Repeat Clients
All positive but financial health does not represent the complete picture and so what does?
A psychologically healthy workplace fosters employee health and well-being while enhancing organisational performance and productivity. It is however important to note that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to creating a psychologically healthy workplace. Success is based, in part, on addressing the challenges unique to your particular organisation and tailoring initiatives and policies to meet your needs.
Psychologically healthy workplace practices can potentially be grouped into five categories:
- Employee involvement
- Work-life balance
- Employee growth & development
- Health & safety
- Employee recognition
Efforts to increase employee involvement include empowering workers, involving them in decision making to help give them increased job autonomy. Employee involvement initiatives can increase job satisfaction, employee morale and commitment to the business, as well as increase productivity, reduce turnover and absenteeism and enhance the quality of products and services.
Efforts to involve employees in meaningful ways include:
- Self-managed work teams
- Employee committees or task forces
- Continuous improvement teams
- Participative decision making
- Employee suggestion forums, such as a suggestion box and monthly meetings
Policies that facilitate work-life balance acknowledge that employees have responsibilities and lives outside of work and help individuals better manage these multiple demands. Conflict between work and other life responsibilities can diminish the quality of both work and home life for employees, which in turn can affect organisational outcomes such as productivity, absenteeism, and turnover. Efforts to help employees improve work-life balance can improve morale, increase job satisfaction and strengthen employees’ commitment to the organisation. Additionally, the organisation may reap benefits in terms of increased productivity, reduction in absenteeism, and employee turnover.
Policies and initiatives that can promote work-life balance include:
- Flexible work arrangements including homeworking
- Assistance with childcare
- Resources to help employees manage personal financial issues
- Flexible leave options
Employee Growth and Development
Employee development tends to increase motivation and job satisfaction. This in turn increases quality of work and is beneficial for the organisation as well as the worker.
- Tuition reimbursement for professional training courses or continuing education
- Mentoring and in-house training opportunities.
- Are there people where you work who are happy to help you, answer your questions, or support your desire to learn more?
- Alternatively, are you in a position to mentor a new employee
Health and Safety
If you have ever been asked to stand on a rickety ladder, you will appreciate this one. It goes beyond appropriate safeguards and training in the workplace. Health and safety includes things such environment and ergonomics.
- Furniture and equipment “fit for purpose”
- access to a recreational facility
- smoking cessation support
- good temperature control and ventilation
Employee recognition efforts reward employees both individually and collectively for their contributions to the organisation. Recognition can take various forms, formal and informal, monetary and non-monetary. By acknowledging employee efforts and making them feel valued and appreciated simply by saying “thank you” can increase employee satisfaction, morale, and self-esteem. Additionally, the business itself may benefit from greater employee engagement and productivity, lower turnover and the ability to attract and retain top quality employees.
Recognising employee contributions include:
- Fair monetary compensation
- Competitive benefits packages
- Acknowledgement of contributions and milestones
- Performance-based bonuses and pay increases
- Employee awards/functions
Excellent communication also plays a key role in the success of any workplace initiative or policy and serves as the foundation for all five types of psychologically healthy workplace practices. In today’s 24/7 society, workplace pressures continue to mount. Productivity demands, information overload and increasing pressure to balance work and home lives can take a toll on employees’ health, well-being and job satisfaction.
Faced with global competition and economic uncertainty, employers are concerned about attracting and retaining high-quality employees and keeping up morale. Minimising workplace stress plays a significant role in the employee retention equation as organisations look to optimise their human capital.
In short, they build a psychologically healthy workplace so let’s look at how.
Benefits of a Psychologically Healthy Workplace
A psychologically healthy workplace fosters employee health and well-being while enhancing organisational performance, thereby benefiting both employees and the business.
Benefits to Employees
- Increased job satisfaction
- Higher morale
- Better physical and mental health
- Enhanced motivation
- Improved ability to manage stress
Benefits to the Organisation
- Improved quality, performance and productivity
- Reduced absenteeism and turnover
- Fewer accidents and injuries
- Better able to attract and retain top-quality employees
- Improved customer service and satisfaction
- Lower costs