Psychological Health In The Workplace
Workplace stress in Australia is high and is likely to grow during uncertain economic times as we compete in a global market.
The flow on effects on the health and wellbeing of employees as our workplaces become more globally competitive and cost-conscious include anxiety, work-related stress injury and poor mental health. The impact on organisations when their employees are under stress can result in higher staff turnover, absenteeism, injury rates and workers compensation claims.
Work-related stress is preventable. A 2014 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers showed that when businesses implement effective mental health and wellbeing strategies, they can more than double their financial investment.
There has been a steadily increasing focus on workplace psychological health and wellbeing over the past decade. Understanding, preventing and managing psychological stress at work promotes psychologically healthy workplaces.
The Key Elements of a Psychologically Healthy Workplace
- Supportive Leadership
- Engaged employees
- Clarity of work roles
- Learning, development and growth opportunities
- Appraisal and job recognition
- Work-life balance
There are many advantages to a psychologically healthy workplace. Work plays an important role in the development, expression and maintenance of psychological health for most individuals, making organisations ideally placed to foster health and wellbeing for the benefit of the individual and the organisation.
Well supported staff are productive workers, making it worthwhile to invest in pro-active and preventative strategies. Productive, healthy and satisfied workers equal a productive and healthy organisation resulting in high morale and improved performance outcomes.
Traditional business practice has focussed on improving processes, methods and systems, rather than on developing the capacities of the people within the business organisation.
The 21st century brings the pressures of rapid organisational change, intensified work practices and greater job insecurity and attending to emotional and mental health needs in the workplace makes organisational and business sense.
Improving Workplace Wellbeing
Resilience is the ability to recover from adversity, to keep calm in the face of difficulty and to solve problems. It is the ability to manage your own emotions and to remain aware of the emotions of others. Heightening our awareness of our own needs and our capacities for self support and the needs and capacities of others creates a healthy environment, including our working environment.
Resilience can be developed using a range of different psychological approaches such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Positive Psychology, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Mindfulness Practice.
Developing resilience in the workplace helps us all, managers and workers, to deal more effectively with stressful situations. It assists us to think more clearly, to be flexible, collaborative, and creative, and has a positive effect on our physical health.
Resilience enables us to better deal with the challenges that present within our working environments.