Management review and continual improvement for psychological health and safety

Strategies to review psychological health and safety outcomes and support continual improvement. The National Standard recommends this occur at least every two years.

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The section Management review and continual improvement (5) in the National Standard on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace states, “The organization shall establish and maintain a process to conduct scheduled management reviews of the [Psychological Health and Safety Management System]. The review process should address the degree to which the goals of a psychologically healthy and safe workplace are being achieved.”

Management decisions made without full awareness of the impact on psychological health and safety could result in reducing or eliminating any progress. Regular review and analysis of outcomes by senior management can support the process of continual improvement.

  • Management review of the psychological health and safety of the organization should occur at least every 2 years and include:
    • An overview of initiatives and strategies undertaken.
    • The results of the evaluations.
    • Recommendations for corrective action.
    • Approval of ongoing strategic direction.
  • The management review process may also want to consider:
    • The free Audit tool | PDF that can be used to identify what might be needed for your organization to meet the requirements of the National Standard of Canada on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. The tool is not as extensive as a formal health and safety audit but is intended as a gap analysis tool that will provide the organization with a baseline measurement of current status. In that respect, it is more of a survey/screening instrument. In any case, it is preferable to have at least one team member who is familiar with the auditing process.
    • 20 Questions for leaders about psychological health and safety, which can be used to guide discussion about possible exposures to risk and potential areas for improvement. Support management use of this tool by reading the questions and collecting relevant data and policy information prior to the discussion.
  • Ensure that progress made continues through inclusion of psychological health and safety considerations in both strategic and operational business decisions by senior management.
  • Direction for continual improvement of the Psychological Health and Safety Management System should come from this review and feed back into the planning process for the next cycle.
  • Set measurable and specific directives* for how senior leaders are expected to contribute to psychological health and safety in the workplace. Some suggestions follow:
    • Engage employees
      • Make it safe for employees to come to you with concerns, even if you need to redirect to others for response.
      • Host forums where employees can share ideas for improvements including those that support positive psychological health and safety in your workplace.
      • Foster a work and team environment where everyone feels welcomed, respected, engaged, productive and valued.
    • Develop a shared understanding
      • Ensure all employees have a clear understanding of expectations in terms of roles and responsibilities.
      • Ensure all employees understand the organization's mission, vision and values and how their individual work contributes to success.
      • Ensure potential new hires understand the organizational vision and mission and agree with these principles. For those who do not agree, suggest your workplace may not be a good fit for them.
      • Communicate with all employees about where the organization is in achieving its goals toward a psychological healthy and safe workplace.
    • Lead by example
      • Exhibit positive self-care and work-life balance (taking breaks and vacations, etc.)
      • Be a champion for psychological health and safety. Ensure leaders at different levels of your organization do the same.
      • Set a goal of taking breaks with direct reports or staff where possible (lunches, team outings, etc.)
      • Regularly recognize team members who support the goals of psychological health and safety.

*Developed with and in appreciation for participants and organizers for Strategies for Success, presented by Workplace Wellness in Northumberland, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit and Mindful Employer Canada.

Contributors include.articlesMary Ann BayntonMindful Employer CanadaWorkplace Strategies team 2007-2021

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