Seven years ago Canada published a national standard on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (PH&S). The Standard was the result of extensive and rigourous research by academic, occupational and organizational psychology leaders. (Canadian Mental Health Commission, MHCC).
We named and built our business on the standard as a starting point and management framework for workplace culture change. The Standard identifies 13 factors (plus-your unique work context) that most positively and negatively influence the workplace. We took those factors and went further. We identified and aligned the knowledge, skills and workplace behaviours that are correlated and linked to best-in-class business outcomes, workplace cultures and our human needs for inclusion, innovation, belonging, productivity, and supported capability at work.
Before 2020 and Beyond: In the last seven months, the workplace has evolved. And there is no going back.
But even before 2020, Canadian and U.S. workplace data pointed to some difficult workplace challenges, with low levels of employee engagement, motivation, trust, innovation and productivity. Multiple sources tracked and reported on the equally troubling and linked levels of workplace stress, anxiety, depression, burnout and escalating mental health concerns.
In August 2020 Deloitte released a study that echoed the issues and shone an even stronger light on the need for change now as prevention and readiness for future impacts of the pandemic on stress, mental health and our lives.
We know that change isn't easy. But if you are:
1. Managing increased employee challenges because you are growing and changing?
2. Considering expanding your OH&S program to include a focus on mental health and the National PH&S Standard?
3. Ready for new training that helps prevent workplace conflict and creates a more psychologically-healthy and inclusive workplace?
4. Interested in health and safety culture change that will double your return on investment in business results?
Sometimes an outside perspective can help.
The 13 factors of PH&S in the workplace:
+ 14. Any other chronic stressor that may be identified by workers.
The 14th factor is particularly important to unions in assessing psychological health and safety in the workplace. (Canadian Labour Congress)
The National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (2013) is a first of its kind in the world. It is a new way to look at workplace skills, ways of working, culture and the impact the workplace has on our lives.
The Standard was developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) with partners and stakeholders focused on workplace and employee health and wellness.
It is an evidence-based, voluntary management framework that includes a set of guidelines, tools and resources to improve workplace culture and climate, create a more positive and collaborative workplace and prevent psychological harm at work.
The Standard is structured to align with Occupational Health and Safety practices and processes for physical safety culture that we have been using for decades. The considerations will be very familiar to you and your team. It expands our concept of health at work to include a priority for our mental health, our psychological health and safety. We will work with you to determine the areas in your organization that present opportunities for improvement, prevention strategies to reduce risk and improve your overall safety culture.
The Standard is now also informing the development of a new International ISO Standard.
Is employee health and safety critical to your business? Is quality critical to your business? Is continuous improvement, engagement and learning? Collaboration, innovation and productivity?
Consider a new strategic priority in 2020 integrating a learning program matched to these goals, and the factors and the skills needed to achieve long term, sustainable and positive change.