How to Effectively Integrate Psychological Health and Safety into the Workplace Culture
By: Liz Horvath, Hale Health and Safety Solutions
The impact of mental health on the health, safety and productivity of workers today is more evident than ever before. Therefore, it is very important for your organization to integrate Psychological Health and Safety into the workplace culture. The National Standard of Canada on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace recognizes the need to integrate prevention of mental harm, promotion of mental health, and conflict resolution into the culture of the organization. It follows the systematic management system approach:
- Senior management establishes policy;
- Plan how to uphold the policy;
- Implement what was planned;
- Monitor, measure and evaluate the effectiveness of the actions; and
- Senior management reviews the results and determines priorities for continual improvement.
This system includes establishing leadership, commitment and participation, identifying workplace hazards that can cause psychological harm, assessing risk, and controlling risk through application of the hierarchy of risk control. It stresses the need to raise awareness of mental health through education and communication, and to equip those in leadership roles with the knowledge and skills necessary to manage in a psychologically healthy and safe manner and to be able to respond appropriately in crisis situations.
Integration is the key
By addressing the workplace factors that affect mental health, and embedding risk controls throughout the organization’s policies, programs, processes and procedures, we can begin to see a positive effect on employee mental health and positive impact on key business outcomes.
In fact, the Morneau Shepell 2014 National Survey conservatively estimated that organizations can achieve a 15% to 33% reduction in costs related to employee mental health when effective and appropriate policies and programs are implemented, and the return is even higher when combined with mental health services.
By effectively integrating psychological health and safety into the workplace culture, even greater value on investment is possible, as all employees are empowered to work in a psychologically healthy and safe manner.
Reach out to MaxPeople if you require additional information about the National Standard of Canada on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.