Nine Proven Ways to Improve Workplace Psychological Health28 July 2017
As a result of a three year long study, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (“MHCC”) has distilled their findings into nine key recommendations for organisations seeking to implement a workplace mental health standard.
In the study, the MHCC gauged the progress of more than 40 Canadian organisations that first implemented the National Standard, Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (2014) (“the Standard”) – a voluntary standard developed by the Canadian CSA group to enable psychologically safe and healthy working environments for employees.
The Standard is often pointed to as the go-to international guide for preventing work-related psychological injuries and improving mental health.
The MHCC’s findings describe nine “promising practices” adopted by participating organisations:
- Defining a business case for improving mental health and safety
This being said, few organisations, according to the report, were able to quantify the cost or savings of implementation.
- Ensuring commitment throughout the organisation
- Ensuring communication is “wide and effective”
As part of this, the report indicated that it was essential that employees be kept informed as to the rationale behind the implementation of the Standard and its potential benefits.
- Building an organisational psychological health and safety culture
The success of implementation depended entirely on the level of sincerity showed by organisations. Those most likely to experience success were those who demonstrated a “shared and enduring belief in, and commitment to” protecting mental wellbeing and safety.
- Ensuring adequate resources are available
“At a minimum, it is suggested that organisations identify a particular person within the organisation who is responsible for implementation, ensure that they have time set aside for this task and access to information and funds.”
- Selecting the “best actions”
- Determining if the organisation is ready
- Measuring the implementation’s impact
Given the various nips and tucks necessary to ensure ongoing effectiveness of the Standard, a targeted evaluation strategy allowed for the quantification of success, as well as the quick identification of areas that might require change.
- Ensuring achievements are maintained over time