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“Psychological Wellbeing: Applying a risk management approach and developing better prevention strategies”

Posted by Jason Aitkens on Tuesday, September 01, 2015.

Dr Chris Stevens gives keynote addresses for the international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills’ Safety Leadership Series events in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

With widespread recognition of the need to address workplace mental health there has been a proliferation of approaches, with quite variable effectiveness, adopted across corporate Australia. Not surprisingly, therefore, there were huge turnouts to hear Dr Chris Stevens put all this in perspective and give some practical, evidence-based guidelines.

The thrust of his talk was that organisations need to take a risk-management approach to actively promote workplace psychological health. Dr Stevens contrasted this with the current workplace emphasis on reactive community and not-for-profit based programs that are symptom and mental ill health oriented and which mostly take a tertiary, treatment and psychological injury approach.

Dr Stevens put the case very strongly that what is required is a commitment and capability to develop real early intervention capabilities, as well as adopting workplaces systems and processes that proactively address the psychosocial factors that influence psychological wellbeing in the workplace – not just ‘ticking the box’ with an EAP provision and a RUOK day. He made it clear that, the latter, while important, are insufficient as they tend to address symptoms not causes, and do not address psychosocial factors, culture, systems and practices that strongly influence wellbeing at work.

As reported in the Safety At Work blog, Dr Stevens addressed the need for organisations to develop a holistic approach when addressing psychosocial workplace hazards, and was critical of the common tokenistic approaches, which deliver little or no lasting benefit. (1) He also gave practical guidelines for actions and indications of what does work to minimise psychological risk, using case examples, including an emphasis on Safety and HR professionals working more closely together to address hazards that impact on psychological wellbeing.

In reality, a much more work-specific, strategic and evidence-based workplace approach is required – with an emphasis on early intervention and prevention and addressing the workplace systems and environment that influences psychological wellbeing.

If you would like guidance for your organisation in developing a more systematic approach to workplace mental health, get in touch with CommuniCorp on info@communicorpgroup.com or 1300 855 140.

(1) SafetyAtWorkBlog: http://safetyatworkblog.com/2015/08/17/psychologically-health-workplaces/



Where can You hear from CommuniCorp experts?

CommuniCorp have been invited to join the program of many Australian conferences being hosted over the next few months. This is your chance to meet the team and learn from our experts on best practice in workplace mental health initiatives, developed both here in Australia and around the world. See a list of events on our calendar here.

If you plan on attending any of these upcoming events please let us know, we would be happy to arrange a one-on-one discussion to review your workplace mental health strategy. Email us at info@communicorpgroup.com


Organisational Snapshot Review Psychologically Safe & Healthy Workplaces

Posted by Jason Aitkens on Monday, August 31, 2015.

Over the last few years organisations have increasingly started to implement and adopt more initiatives and programs to help manage mental health issues in the workplace. With such a vast array of services being implemented, there is increasing pressure on organisations to ensure they are maximising their return on investment, that their approaches are integrated and evidence - based and achieving tangible outcomes for the organisation. It is easy for workplace mental health related activities to seem somewhat disparate and disjointed, and for unexpected and often minor policy, procedural or capability factors to limit the effectiveness of initiatives in place. Objective review and refinement of these initiatives is critical to their long term success, and typically results in significant cost savings and performance improvement across many organisational areas.

In response to this issue, CommuniCorp is offering a new service that provides an organisational snapshot of psychological health initiatives against recognised organisational psychological health frameworks, and looks at the balance of primary, secondary and tertiary factors, as well as the degree of integration of initiatives and actions. This service also provides corporate clients with recommendations about how to improve, embed and sustain initiatives to improve the psychological safety and health of the workplace. The review helps clients determine and enhance the effectiveness of their workplace mental health initiatives and maximise their return on investment and impact.

For more information about our Snapshot Review service and how it might benefit your organisation, please contact info@communicorpgroup.com or call our Head Office on 1300 855 140.


Where can YOu hear from CommuniCorp experts?

CommuniCorp have been invited to join the program of many Australian conferences being hosted over the next few months. This is your chance to meet the team and learn from our experts on best practice in workplace mental health initiatives, developed both here in Australia and around the world. See a list of events on our calendar here.

If you plan on attending any of these upcoming events please let us know, we would be happy to arrange a one-on-one discussion to review your workplace mental health strategy. Email us at info@communicorpgroup.com


International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership

Posted by Jason Aitkens on Friday, August 28, 2015.


CommuniCorp is proud to be attending the upcoming “International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership” (IIMHL) Leadership Exchange being held during September in Canada.

Representing CommuniCorp at the Leadership Exchange will be Director and Partner Dr Laura Kirby.

IIMHL is a unique “Government-to-Government” international initiative that focuses on improving mental health and addiction services. It is funded by the participating governments of each of the eight countries: Australia, England, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, USA and Sweden.

The philosophy behind the IIMHL Leadership Exchange is that once key leaders are linked together, they have the opportunity to begin collaborating and building an international partnership. The aim is to build relationships and networks that are mutually helpful for leaders, organisations and countries.

National policies and directions have often been focused on clinical practices rather than recovery through mental health leadership. National perspectives such as those in Australia, Canada, England, the Republic of Ireland, NZ (New Zealand), Scotland, Sweden and the US (United States) realise that mental health leadership is just as vital to the success of community-based services as are effective clinical practices. IIMHL organises systems for international innovation sharing, networking and problem solving across countries and agencies. CommuniCorp is participating in the leadership match "Psychologically Safe Workplaces - the Psychological Safety Standard". Accompanied by other global leaders in this domain, the Exchange provides a valuable opportunity to learn how others are applying and implementing workplace strategies such as the Canadian Psychological Safety Standard.

Knowledge transfer among IIMHL countries includes not only the Leadership Exchange, but also promotion of workshops/training/education, research, support of learning collaboratives and information dissemination between Exchanges.

In a future newsletter Dr Kirby will share with the CommuniCorp community her observations and learning from the IIMHL Leadership Exchange.

For more information about the IIMHL Leadership Exchange please visit www.iimhl.com


Where can YOu hear from CommuniCorp experts?

CommuniCorp have been invited to join the program of many Australian conferences being hosted over the next few months. This is your chance to meet the team and learn from our experts on best practice in workplace mental health initiatives, developed both here in Australia and around the world. See a list of events on our calendar here.

If you plan on attending any of these upcoming events please let us know, we would be happy to arrange a one-on-one discussion to review your workplace mental health strategy. Email us at info@communicorpgroup.com


New: Workplace Psychological Health Advisory Services

Posted by Laura Kirby on Wednesday, July 15, 2015.

New: Workplace Psychological Health Advisory Services

Let’s face it, sometimes managing workplace mental health related matters is tricky. At CommuniCorp, we recognise that organisations will not always have the internal capability to address inherently tricky, sometimes high-risk, people- management and psychological health related issues. It is quite common for senior HR/WHS personnel to feel ‘out of their depth’ or in need of a sounding board when it comes to managing complex workplace mental health related matters. To help remedy this, we are now offering organisations specialised workplace psychological health advisory services to extend internal HR/WHS capabilities.

 

Rather than EAP or Manager Assist type functions, these services provide ready access to CommuniCorp’s Principal Consultant Psychologists (telephone, or face to face) for:

  • Strategic advice on workplace psychological health and safety matters
  • Incident management
  • Program implementation support
  • Subject matter expertise on internal board/advisory panels

 

With CommuniCorp’s team on hand, organisations can significantly augment their existing strategic and operational workplace psychological health capabilities and can benefit from the decades of combined international experience in workplace mental ill-health prevention, early intervention and management. Our Workplace Psychological Health Advisory Services are available on a retainer basis, from 4 hrs per month. With the ever increasing costs and complexity of psychological ill-health in the workplace, psychological injury claims and increasing frustration as to the effectiveness of many providers and activities in this domain, it makes sense to have access to the best independent, professional advice available.

 

For more information about our Workplace Psychological Health Advisory Services, please contact info@communicorpgroup.com or call our Head Office on 1300 855 140.

Workplace Mental Health - the hidden risks of workplace incivility to psychological safety and productivity.

Posted by Jason Aitkens on Wednesday, July 08, 2015.

Australian workplaces face an often invisible yet increasing threat to productivity that, if not addressed and rectified, can compromise the psychological health of employees and the workplace. Incivility is an insidious threat that can lead to increased absenteeism, presenteeism, grievance claims, workplace conflict as well as increased workers’ compensation claims for psychological injury.


David Burroughs, Managing Director, CommuniCorp says “The increasing ‘casualisation’ of the workforce has contributed to this and, often, uncivil behaviours are unknowingly modelled by managers. Poor role modelling in the workplace can directly increase counterproductive workplace behaviours. Additionally, with everyone being asked to do more with less, with technology blurring the boundaries between home and work, with instant mass communication mechanisms that are often devoid of niceties and or context, and the increasing general levels of stress that appear inherent within Australian workplaces, it is easy to see how levels of civility can be eroded.”

Organisations that neglect to address the psychosocial risk factor caused by incivility may find themselves in breach of occupational health and safety legislation, since it is a foreseeable risk that can be managed.

There are a number of ways organisations can reverse the trend of incivility, including:

  • Ensuring good person-job-fit and equipping people with the psychological capabilities, not just the technical/professional competencies required to do their role;
  • Conduct workplace training to help all staff understand the impact of both positive and negative behaviours;
  • Require managers to model desired organisational behaviours and make them accountable;
  • Set a company standard for email communications, such as not sending time-sensitive information via email;
  • Reinforce workplace values, codes of conduct and behavioural expectations as well as creating expectations around zero tolerance to uncivil behaviour;
  • Developing workplace systems, policies and procedures that promote a psychologically safe and healthy workplace;
  • Be sensitive to cultural differences and expectations and ensuring all staff understand what is expected.


David Burroughs said, “It doesn’t seem like a big deal if people forget to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ but when this lack of manners continues it can lead to an environment where people feel undervalued and unimportant. This can undermine the sense of psychological safety within the workplace, and create the foundations for more problematic workplace psychological health issues to develop.”

“By contrast, a workplace that fosters good manners, citizenship and teamwork is much more likely to thrive and be successful.”

Modified excerpt from CommuniCorp article first published on Business Review Australia | September 2014



"System-Based or Symptom-Based? Approaches to Workplace Mental Health"

During August CommuniCorp is delivering a series of talks together with leading global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills entitled "System-Based or Symptom-Based? Approaches to Workplace Mental Health". This national series will focus on the clear and urgent need for more integrated, systemic approaches to workplace mental health.

Led by leading corporate psychology expert, Dr Chris Stevens, these talks will take a candid look at the complex issues around the mental health landscape in corporate Australia.


Register your interest to attend, and receive additional information regarding these sessions:

Email info@communicorpgroup.com
Phone 1300 855 140
Web www.communicorpgroup.com








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