Today’s post comes from our Mental Toughness Partner, Michelle Bakjac of Bakjac Consulting. Michelle raises some interesting questions around safe workplaces and identifies some of the key risk factors that can impact whether yours is a psychologically safe workplace.
Psychological Position Risk Matrix: How Psychologically Safe is Your Workplace?
So much attention has previously been given to the physical suitability of a position and whether the role puts staff at risk. Does the job require lifting and if so is the lifting within safe limits? Does the role require repetitive bending? Does the role require working in extreme temperatures etc etc etc. But what about questions as to whether a role puts a staff member at risk from a psychological perspective?
A psychologically healthy and safe workplace is one that promotes employees’ psychological well-being and proactively endeavours to prevent harm to employee psychological health. An organisations’ aim should be to:
- ensure a psychologically healthy and safe workplace
- promote employees’ psychological well-being
- prevent harm to employee psychological health.
It is recognised that certain work-related factors impact upon employees’ responses to work and work conditions creating a risk of work-related stress and potentially causing psychological health problems.
Work-related factors, otherwise known as psychological risk factors, include:
- the manner in which work is carried out (deadlines, workload, and work methods)
- and the context in which work occurs (including relationships and interactions with managers and supervisors, colleagues and co-workers, and clients or customers).
Psychological risk factors also have the potential to make existing employee mental health conditions and stress responses worse if not addressed.
Furthermore, by addressing psychological risk factors and creating a psychologically healthy and safe workplace, we are more likely:
- to have healthier, happier employees,
- and are likely to benefit in terms of performance, productivity, client satisfaction and retention of employees.
Bakjac Consulting has now developed a psychological risk matrix for positions within an organisation. Characteristics of different levels of risk control within a workplace are identified. A 3×3 risk matrix is then utilised to assist leaders to meet their obligations to manage risks associated with psychological injury.
An organisation can then determine:
- the likelihood of the psychological injury occurring
- against the severity of the consequences if the injury occurs,
- whilst taking into account the existing systems and controls at the workplace.
To learn more about creating a psychologically safe workplace contact Michelle Bakjac at Bakjac Consulting on 0412 047 590 or firstname.lastname@example.org