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Addressing psychosocial risks at work

August 29, 2023

Australia is leading the way on a new generation of policies aimed at addressing mental health at work.” In a recently published article in Gallup, consultants Camilla Frumar, Patricia Hubbard and Mansi Sachdeva looked at the Australian government’s 2022 announcement of new workplace regulations to minimize or eliminate psychological risks in the workplace.

According to Safe Work Australia, psychosocial hazards include lack of role clarity, inadequate reward and recognition, and poor support. As part of the new regulation, Australian businesses will have a more explicit duty to manage these hazards and be required to implement control measures to proactively reduce the risks.

In order to help organizations “tackle these psychosocial risks from a cultural perspective and create real change over time”, the authors highlight the following areas as where leaders must start:

Increase role clarity

“Lack of role clarity not only affects the ability to get work done, but it also influences the amount of stress and anxiety employees feel on the job.”

Create a culture of recognition

“Receiving recognition for your work is a human need for high performance and enhances psychological health. Recognition reinforces the idea that your efforts make a difference, you are noticed and appreciated. Globally, only four in 10 employees strongly agree they have received recognition or praise for doing good work in the last week.”

Provide manager support

“Only four in 10 employees strongly agree that their supervisor, or someone at work, cares about them as a person. However, Gallup has found that if organizations doubled that ratio, they could experience a 46% reduction in safety incidents and a 41% reduction in absenteeism. Feeling cared for begins with a conversation — one in which employees feel heard and free to talk about their lives outside of work.”

Source: Gallup