Psychosocial Safety Climate or PSC is “the shared belief held by workers that their psychological safety and well-being is protected and supported by senior management.
A recent report published by Safework Australia, highlights the importance of PSC and the impact it can have on your company’s bottom line. The report explores Australia’s current decline in productivity, and statistics show that, following a boom in productivity growth in the early 90’s, progress has stalled in the last 10 years.
The Productivity Commission has red flagged poor productivity and made it a priority. Improving productivity creates the model situation where one has increased outputs (i.e. goods and services) without the need for additional inputs (e.g., labour, capital).
Loss of productivity occurs when workers are absent or when they are at work but not performing at their usual capacity (presenteeism). A key point is that, poor employee psychological health leads to reduced productivity.
The cost of untreated psychological health problems in Australian organisations is approximately $10.9 billion per year, due to absenteeism, presenteeism and workers’ compensation.
Psychologically healthy workplaces on the other hand have shown to achieve higher Return on Investment (ROI) of $2.30 for every $1 spent on improving individual skills and resilience. i.e. For every dollar spend on successfully implementing an appropriate action, there is, on average, $2.30 to be gained, according to a report by Price Water House Coopers.
The study published by WorkSafe Australia found that:
See: Presenteeism at Workplace: Why Do Employees Go to Work When Sick?
The results of this study demonstrate that there is bottom line motivation to address psychosocial hazards in the Workplace and take action to improve employee mental wellbeing. This can be done by:
Employers should monitor the company’s PSC and psychosocial risk levels. Employee involvement at all levels should be encouraged to monitor, establish controls, raise awareness and participate in education and training. Job structuring should be revised to minimise work conditions that influence poor psychological health, such as excessive demands and work pressure and insufficient support, control and power.
Employers are legally required to manage mental wellbeing in the workplace and workers are also required to take reasonable care for their own health and safety. Employers are required to meet certain standards for the physical safety of their workplace.
A very recent survey of 1126 Australian workers revealed that over nine out of ten Australian workers consider it is important, to safeguard psychological health in the workplace, yet approximately half the workers surveyed believed that their workplace is not mentally healthy.
Also read: Wellbeing will be the Key Driver of Workplace Culture and Employee Engagement in 2017