Guarding Minds – Organizational review

The organizational review asks the same questions as the employee survey but is directed to the senior leadership and decision-making team.  We recommend doing this step before the employee survey, to have the results available in the report for comparison.

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Why complete the Guarding Minds at Work1 organizational review?

The organizational review is an opportunity for senior leaders to reflect on what the organization is already doing to support each psychosocial factor and write down what they believe their organization or team’s score would be for each psychosocial factor. By completing both the organizational review and the survey, you can generate a report that compares senior leader and employee perspectives. It also provides a way to ensure leadership is informed in advance of the implementation of the survey and are able to interpret the results.

Who completes the organizational review?

The organizational review may be completed by one or more individuals within the organization – this may vary depending on the size and nature of the organization.

You may wish to create a subcommittee or select a small group of staff to participate in the process. To heighten the objectivity of the process, you may also consider using an external psychological health and safety consultant with expertise in the Guarding Minds at Work process. 

What's involved in the organizational review process?

The organizational review process involves the completion of worksheets that guide an exploration of your workplace's current state of psychological health and safety. Each worksheet is dedicated to one of the psychosocial factors. 

Each Organizational review worksheet includes:

  • Description of the psychosocial factor
  • Benefits of addressing the psychosocial factor
  • Information and data that would be helpful to refer to or collect
  • Checklist of what your workplace might be doing now
  • Review of psychosocial factor statements
  • Additional discussion questions

Organizational review worksheets

What do you need to complete the organizational review?

The following may help you complete the organizational review worksheets:

Documentation: Gather and refer to policies, practices, reports, documents, statistics, or other data relevant to employee and organizational functioning. Each worksheet suggests relevant information to gather.

Employee input: Information from your employees including suggestions, complaints, health and safety committee reports, and employee surveys.

Review Psychosocial hazards: Understanding the psychosocial hazards identified in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 45003:20212 Standard can help your team consider some common drivers of risk to psychological health and safety in the workplace. This can be helpful when reviewing the factors.

How to select psychosocial factors for the organizational review

It can be difficult to determine where to begin. For this reason, we recommend that you prioritize the organizational review worksheets you’ll complete. Focus on one psychosocial factor at a time. This helps to streamline your efforts and increases your likelihood of success.

Begin by completing organizational review worksheets for:

  • Factors that disproportionately impact your organization financially or reputationally, such as psychological protection, protection of physical safety and organizational culture.
  • Factors that are particularly relevant to changes occurring within your organization or work unit. For example, if there have been recent changes in leadership, you may want to select the corresponding organizational review worksheet for clear leadership and expectations, growth and development, workload management, and engagement.
  • Factors that are particularly relevant to key incidents or events such as grievances, human rights violations, mergers, such as balance, involvement and influence, civility and respect, psychological competencies and demands, and psychological and social support.  

We recommend that you eventually complete all the worksheets in order to provide the most thorough review of your organization’s psychological health and safety.

Please note, you can choose to complete only the organizational review worksheets you deem a priority, but to generate a survey report with comparisons to the review, there must be data input for every psychosocial factor.

Where should you begin?

Where possible, complete the organizational review worksheets before, or at the same time as, administering the survey to your employees to allow for comparison and ensure leaders are informed.

Generating a report

Once management has completed the organizational review worksheet for all the psychosocial factors, collect them and input the information as instructed below to generate a report once the survey for employees has closed.

Here are the steps to generate the report:

  • Log into your Guarding Minds at Work Dashboard
  • Select Active Surveys
  • Select Organizational Review Input
  • Input the responses that management has completed within all the organizational review worksheets
  • Once you have input the answers for all the psychosocial factors, select Submit
  • From your Dashboard, select General Report from your Active Survey. Note that you need to close the corresponding employee survey before your report can be generated.

Organizational review statements

  1. All employees are encouraged by their direct leader to take their entitled breaks.
  2. All employees can reasonably balance the demands of their work and personal life.
  3. Our management genuinely promotes work-life balance.
  4. All employees can talk to their supervisor when they’re having trouble maintaining work-life balance.
  5. All employees feel supported in the workplace when they’re dealing with personal issues.
  6. All people treat each other with respect in the workplace.
  7. Management effectively handles conflict among employees.
  8. People from all backgrounds are treated fairly in the workplace.
  9. Our workplace has effective ways of addressing inappropriate behaviour from the people we serve.
  10. Each employee knows what they’re expected to do in their job.
  11. Difficult situations at work are addressed effectively.
  12. Every employee is informed of important changes that may impact how their work is done.
  13. Every employee would say that their supervisor supports them to do their job successfully.
  14. The reasons behind organizational changes are clearly explained to all employees.
  15. Each employee is informed about the potential impact of organizational change on their job.
  16. Every employee would be willing to give extra effort at work if needed.
  17. Every employee feels part of a community at work.
  18. Every employee would agree their supervisor supports their personal growth.
  19. Every employee would say their supervisor is open to their ideas for taking on new opportunities in the workplace.
  20. Every employee has the opportunity to take on new challenges.
  21. Every employee would say their employer values their ongoing personal development.
  22. Every employee is provided with the necessary training to perform their job well.
  23. Each employee has a say in how they’ll manage organizational changes that affect them.
  24. Each employee has some control over how they organize their work.
  25. Each employee’s suggestions are considered at work.
  26. Every employee is informed about important changes at work in a timely manner.
  27. Each employee is encouraged to participate in decisions that impact their work.
  28. People in my organization are held accountable for their actions.
  29. Employees and management trust one another.
  30. Organizational values are demonstrated at all levels.
  31. When physical risks are identified, management responds effectively.
  32. People in my workplace understand the importance of protecting employee physical safety.
  33. Each employee has what they need to do their job safely.
  34. When psychological risks are identified, management responds effectively.
  35. People with mental health issues are supported to do their jobs effectively.
  36. People with physical health issues are supported to do their jobs effectively.
  37. Management helps employees cope with workplace stress.
  38. Management appointments consider the “people skills” necessary for specific positions.
  39. Work does not compromise the values or morals of any employee.
  40. Management makes efforts to prevent harm to employees from discrimination.  
  41. Every employee feels safe to speak up at work.
  42. Management makes efforts to prevent harm to employees from bullying.
  43. Employees feel fairly paid for the work they do.
  44. Our organization celebrates our shared accomplishments.
  45. Each employee is recognized for good performance.
  46. The amount of work each employee is expected to do is reasonable for their position.
  47. Every employee can talk to their supervisor about the amount of work they have to do.
  48. Each employee has sufficient time to complete their work.
  49. Deadlines are reasonable.
  50. Staff turnover at work is reasonable for our sector.
  51. Employees feel their job is secure.
  52. People in my workplace understand the importance of protecting employee psychological safety.
  53. Employees can do their jobs, including remote work, effectively with the tools and equipment provided.
  54. Work, including remote work doesn’t cause employees’ home life to suffer.
  55. No employee feels lonely at work, including when working remotely.
  56. No employees are experiencing burn out.
  57. Work does not present a threat to any employee’s psychological health.
  58. All employees are free from stigma related to having a mental illness at work.
  59. All employees are free from bullying at work.
  60. All employees are free from harassment (verbal, physical, or sexual) at work.
  61. All employees are free from discrimination at work.

Explore more information or begin using the survey tools.

1. © Samra, J., Gilbert, M., Shain, M., Bilsker, D. 2009-2020, with amendments by Stuart, H. 2022.   All rights reserved. Website development and data storage by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS).

Guarding Minds at Work was commissioned by Canada Life and additional resources are supported by Workplace Strategies for Mental Health.

2. International Organization for Standardization. (2021). Occupational health and safety management — Psychological health and safety at work — Guidelines for managing psychosocial risks (ISO Standard No. 45003). Retrieved from

Contributors include.articlesDan BilskerDavid K. MacDonaldDr. Heather StuartDr. Joti SamraDr. Martin ShainMary Ann BayntonMerv GilbertPhilip PerczakSarah JennerSusan JakobsonWorkplace Strategies team 2022 to present

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