SUMMARY: On the Agenda is a series of videos, presentation slides and supporting materials that can help trainers, team leaders, manager or others to pave the way for discussions and action aimed at developing a psychologically healthy and safe workplace. Each presentation is related to one of the factors described in Guarding Minds @ Work as those that can impact psychological health and safety in the workplace. These factors have also been adapted for the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety. Discussing these issues and developing plans of action have the potential to contribute to improved psychological health and safety for your team.
How to use On the Agenda

How to use On the Agenda

  1. Review the Introduction Presentation , which explains how and why it makes good business sense to add psychological health and safety to your workplace or team agenda. You may also wish to review the Video Overview, where Linda Brogden, Occupational Health Nurse, University of Waterloo, and Mary Ann Baynton, Program Director, Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, take you through each of the factors. The series was produced as a joint project with the University of Waterloo.
  2. Review the Overview Manual, which provides general facilitation tips and strategies for using the On the Agenda series of presentations. This may help a facilitator engage employees in developing strategies to improve psychological health and safety for your team. Specific facilitation ideas are also included in the guides that accompany each presentation.
  3. Choose one of the factors, listed alphabetically below, to discuss with your team and use the Facilitator's Guide, presentation slides, and video to help facilitate the discussion.This can be a factor that you want to celebrate as a strength or one you wish to improve. These factors have been identified, through a large body of research, as the main areas of concern related to psychological health and safety in the workplace.
    1. The Facilitator's Guide for each factor includes slide-by-slide suggestions, background information, descriptions and definitions to help you with each presentation.
    2. The presentation slides and video help to open a discussion for each factor and to develop a plan that works for your organization and team.
  4. Book time (1½ to 2 hours) with your entire team to go through the presentation together and to develop an action plan.
    Your meeting invitation email could be something like this: "We will be meeting on [date] at [time] in the [location] from [time] to [time]. The National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace has offered us a framework to improve workplace well-being. We want to have the healthiest work environment possible for our team. This meeting is the first of a series that will focus on using evidence-based guidelines to look at the workplace factors that impact psychological health and safety and to develop our own strategies." 
  5. Facilitate the meeting. The Overview Manual provides facilitation tips and guidelines to assist those whose job does not usually involve facilitating discussions. It includes suggestions for dealing with challenges and engaging team members.
  6. Have follow-up meetings as appropriate with your team to confirm understanding and agreement for the implementation plan and timeline. 
  7. Implement the plan developed by your team.
  8. Measure the results. Some measures might include achievements, challenges, quality of work, productivity, employee satisfaction, customer or client satisfaction, input, feedback and engagement, accountability measures and potential for long-term outcomes.
  9. Bring your team together to discuss the results and celebrate accomplishments. 
  10. Repeat! Choose the next factor from the list above to work on and embed On the Agenda into your team's continuous improvement process.
  11. Note: If you are using On the Agenda in conjunction with Guarding Minds at Work, the discussions would happen after the Guarding Minds at Worksurvey results or organizational review as a way to engage staff in developing solutions to identified concerns.

On the Agenda Resources by Factor

Below you will find links to the sets of resources (facilitator guide, presentation slides, and videos) for each of the psychosocial factors listed in the National Standard of Canada on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace and Guarding Minds at Work. A brief description of the factor can help you choose the team discussion that is most relevant for your workplace.

Clear Leadership & Expectations

Clear Leadership & Expectations are present in an environment in which leadership is effective and there is support that helps employees know what they need to do, how their work contributes to the organization, and whether there are impending changes.

Civility & Respect

Civility & Respect are present in a work environment where employees are respectful and considerate in their interactions with one another, as well as with customers, clients, and the public.


Engagement is present in a work environment where employees feel connected to their work and are motivated to do their job well.

Growth & Development

Growth & Development are present in a work environment where employees receive encouragement and support in the development of their interpersonal, emotional, and job skills.

Involvement & Influence

Involvement & Influence are present in a work environment where employees are included in discussions about how their work is done and how important decisions are made.

Organizational Culture

Organizational Culture is the degree to which a work culture is characterized by trust, honesty, and fairness.

Other Chronic Stressors

Other Chronic Stressors Identified by Workers should also be considered when creating a mentally healthy workplace. These other key issues include stigma and discrimination, stress, presenteeism and addiction issues.

Psychological Competencies & Requirements

Psychological Competencies & Requirements, or Psychological Job Demands, are present in a work environment where there is a good fit between employees' interpersonal and emotional competencies and the requirements of the position they hold.

Psychological Protection

Psychological Protection is present in a work environment where employees' psychological safety is ensured. Workplace psychological safety is demonstrated when workers feel able to safely ask questions, seek feedback, report mistakes and problems, or propose a new idea without fearing negative consequences to themselves, their jobs or their careers.

Psychological Support

Psychological Support is present in a work environment in which coworkers and supervisors are supportive of employees' psychological and mental health concerns and respond appropriately as needed.

Protection of Physical Safety

Protection of Physical Safety is present in a work environment where management takes appropriate action to protect the physical safety of employees. Appropriate actions may include: policy to protect workers' physical safety, training in safety-related protocols, rapid and appropriate response to physical accidents or unsafe situations, and clearly demonstrated concern for employees' physical safety.

Recognition & Reward

Recognition & Reward are present in a work environment where there is appropriate acknowledgement and appreciation of employees' efforts in a fair and timely manner.

Work/Life Balance

Work/Life Balance is present in a work environment where there is recognition of the need for balance between the demands of work, family, and personal life.

Workload Management

Workload Management is present in a work environment where tasks and responsibilities can be accomplished successfully within the time available.