4 questions every workplace well-being strategy needs to address.

4 questions every workplace well-being strategy needs to address.

Happiness at work and workplace wellbeing are big business.

I know, because it makes up a big proportion of my work.

But I also know that it’s not always practiced well. And in addition, I know that Michelle McQuaid is someone who knows her stuff.

So, if you’re considering a workplace happiness program OR a review of an existing program then feel free to get in touch and/or check out the tips Michelle provides in this article via Psychology Today …

Every job involves some psychosocial (emotional and social) risks that have the potential to increase work-related stress, harm people’s mental and physical health, and, if prolonged, lead to burnout. A lack of role clarity, an unmanageable workload, inadequate reward and recognition, poor workplace relationships, and poor change management are just a few of the hazards people in your workplace are probably navigating right now.

But how is your workplace well-being strategy minimizing these risks?

As psychosocial injury claims have continued to grow, when it comes to protecting the mental health and well-being of employees and contractors, more than 70 countries have been part of updating international and national codes to clarify the responsibilities of workplaces. In Australia, these requirements have recently become legislation in several states with the risk of financial penalties for noncompliance.

So, what does this mean practically for your well-being approaches?

In our work with organizations around the world over the last six months we’ve noticed that workplace well-being strategies are often being pushed aside in favor of complying with new psychosocial hazard requirements. While we appreciate that the threat of financial penalties tends to grab leadership attention, unfortunately minimizing psychosocial risks will not achieve the same outcomes as promoting well-being.

As leading well-being expert Martin Seligman has noted, 50 years of psychological focus on fixing mental illness taught us little about caring for well-being. Unfortunately, because the codes and legislation have been designed through a risk management lens, they generally fail to clearly outline any workplace responsibilities for promoting well-being.

We’re not suggesting that workplaces should choose one approach over the other, but we are strongly advocating that efforts to protect mental health and promote well-being be strategically integrated. The alternative – which we are seeing in some organizations – of competing messages, policies, tools, and tasks for leaders and their teams risks creating confusion and stress, which cannot be what success looks like.

The Leaders Lab

Source: The Leaders Lab

How can you integrate your psychosocial safety and well-being requirements?

We find this simple safety and well-being map (left) and the four questions below helpful in our conversations with workplaces:

1. How is your workplace well-being strategy supporting the complex and dynamic nature of psychosocial risks?

Psychosocial hazards arise from the ways we work together. They are the emotional and social challenges found in how we connect, communicate, and support each other as we organize the completion of our work. And while identifying the hazards, assessing them, controlling them, and reviewing our efforts sounds logical, the danger of “managing” psychosocial risks lies in underestimating the complex and dynamic nature of the ways we work together.

For better or worse, the ways we work together are rarely logical. This is because our diverse personalities, values, life experiences, skills, job demands, and hopes make our relationships at work complex. Add to this our dynamic, always-changing work environments, and even small changes such as an increased performance goal, a shortened deadline, or team changes can dramatically increase the psychosocial risks we experience.

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This means doing everything “reasonably practicable” to eliminate or minimize psychosocial risks, as required by the legislation and codes, is never a “one-and-done” exercise but instead requires an ongoing commitment to learning how to safely navigate our complex relationships and dynamic workspaces together…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE