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New: CommuniCorp Group Psychosocial Priorities Survey

Posted by CommuniCorp Group on Thursday, August 18, 2016.

Would you like to get a sense for the level of maturity of current Psychological Health & Safety related practices and initiatives across corporate Australia and NZ? Curious to know what the current Workplace Mental Health priorities are?

CommuniCorp invites you to contribute to a new survey into psychosocial priority areas across Australian and New Zealand organisations! 

Whilst there has been a lot of activity surrounding Workplace Mental Health in recent years, many organisations are still struggling with knowing where to start and what to do. Some are still ‘fire-fighting’ by reactively handling mental health issues as they arise, whilst others are becoming more strategic in their approach to enhancing Psychological Health and Safety in the workplace.

Your participation, via the survey link below, will help us capture an industry-wide 'snapshot' of priorities in this domain, and enable key insights into the maturity of current workplace mental health related initiatives. The survey explores a number of psychosocial factors known to influence mental health in the workplace, and is based on current best practice and evidence-based research. The survey is open to anyone from a medium to large organisation (300+ FTE staff) who has responsibility for developing, implementing, or managing any workplace Mental Health related activities. 

To thank you for your participation, each participating organisation will receive access to 5 Personal Resiliency Builder assessments (www.resiliencybuilder.com), typically valued at $80 each. Participating organisations will also receive an optional copy of the CommuniCorp Psychosocial Priorities Survey Report – with basic benchmark information as to how their industry appears to be performing relative to others.

Anyone responsible for helping to develop, implement, or manage Workplace Mental Health related activities within a large to medium sized Australian/NZ organisation is welcome and encouraged to participate here

The Rewards are an Aladdin's Cave of Treasure

Posted by Jason Aitkens on Thursday, July 28, 2016.


In Hong Kong, the cultural stigma attached to mental illness is a barrier for people seeking help. Couple this with the fact that for most Hong Kong people, career and work are the top priority, workplace psychological health is fast becoming a business critical issue.

Mental health experts in Hong Kong agree that the psychological health of workers needs more attention, “Mental health disorders should be treated just like any other physical disorder and are common, says Professor Linda Lam Chiu-wa, president of the Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists. (1)

An overemphasis on work and success is seen as one of the leading causes of depression in the city.

But What Can Be Done?



Develop a Psychologically Safe and Healthy Workplace Mindset

Whilst removing stigma around mental health issues and encouraging discussion are a good first step, this alone is simply insufficient to effectively address the complexities surrounding workplace psychological health and to realise the full benefits of a psychologically safe and healthy workplace.

“A psychologically safe & healthy workplace promotes individual, team and organisational psychological wellbeing… it focusses on psychological health from a practical, systemic perspective – balancing primary, secondary and tertiary intervention approaches and compliance obligations. Creating the systems and capabilities that enable employees and the organisation as a whole to sustainably flourish” says David Burroughs, Principal Psychologist and Managing Director of CommuniCorp.

Organisations need to take a risk-management approach to actively promote workplace psychological health. What is required is a commitment to develop real early intervention capabilities, as well as adopting workplace systems and processes that proactively address the psychosocial factors that influence psychological wellbeing at work – not just ‘ticking the box’ with an EAP provision or “Mental Health Day”. Whilst these are an important part of the process they are insufficient as stand alone strategies and tend to address symptoms not causes, nor do they address the complex psychosocial factors, culture, systems and practices that strongly influence wellbeing at work.

In the UK it is estimated that mental health related sickness absence costs the economy £8.4bn per year, and indirect reduced productivity costing a further £15.1bn per year. Although no recent studies can speak to the costs of poor workplace mental health to the economy of Hong Kong, it can safely be assumed that the costs are on a similar scale. In a 2014 survey on workplace mental health conditions conducted by University of Hong Kong 90% of respondents indicated said that they need better support at work. (2)


Professional Resilience

Professional Resilience, a strategic self-management capability, is a critical workplace performance factor and underpins good mental health. Resilient individuals are shown to have heightened skills in strategic thinking, problem solving capability, emotional intelligence, improved work engagement, higher morale and a healthy competitiveness in the face of obstacles.

It is realistic to expect we will experience times of mental distress; in the same way we experience periods of physical ill health. However, resilient individuals respond well to stress and maintain a highly productive and healthy state during these periods. Professional Resilience is not a skill that is developed by accident, but requires dedicated effort and knowledge to build capability and - much like a muscle, the capability is strengthened through use. Resilience is the product of a skilled response to stress.

Research demonstrates that those organisations who take practical steps to promote the psychological health of their employees typically return a stronger financial performance; 2.2 times more likely to be above the average. This improvement is demonstrated in increased performance, productivity, organisational cohesiveness and organisational and individual responsiveness to challenge and change.


The Business Case

The business case for investing in workplace psychological health and safety is strong. A 2014 report published by PwC states “through the successful implementation of an effective action to create a mentally healthy workplace, organisations, on average can expect a positive return on investment of 2.3. This is, for every dollar spent on successfully implementing an appropriate action, there is on average $2.30 in benefits to be gained by the organisation”.

However, the report continues to comment “in order to achieve a positive ROI, organisations will need to have addressed the critical success factors for change. In particular, implementing one or several actions is unlikely to be effective unless these is leadership and management support for the culture and mental health of the workplace.”

Although creating a mentally safe and health workplace is a complex road to navigate, the rewards, both to individual and organisation, are an Aladdin’s Cave of treasure


(1) South China Morning Post “How workplace pressure takes a toll on mental health” Published 12/12/14

(2) South China Morning Post “Hong Kong workers want more mental health support at work, study finds” Published 18/9/14




FeatureD Services provided by CommuniCorp


Resilience Services

Using contemporary models of workplace wellbeing, stress and personal resilience, CommuniCorp’s resilience services have been designed to not only develop resilience capabilities in staff, but to assist managers and supervisors in developing the resilience and performance capabilities of their people. Designed to promote personal responsibility for wellbeing and performance, they can be integrated seamlessly into other organisational and professional development initiatives.

For further information about our highly regarded Resilience Services, download our brochure by clicking on the icon to the left. Alternatively if you would like to discuss our services, and how we can work with your organisation, please email us on info@communicorpgroup.com






PSYCHOLOGICALLY SAFE AND HEALTHY WORKPLACES CONSULTING SERVICES

As experienced workplace psychologists, CommuniCorp recognise the importance of employing a strategic approach to psychological safety and health in the workplace, and understand what is practically required for programs and initiatives to have a genuine impact on an organisations psychological health. Our Consulting Services provide exactly this advice. Through close consultation, guidance, and organisation-specific review and advice utilising international best practice frameworks and strategy, CommuniCorp consulting services provide organisations with a clear action plan for building and enhancing the psychological safety and health of their workplace.

For further information about our comprehensive Workplace Consulting Services, please download our brochure by clicking on the icon to the left. Alterntively, please email us on info@communicorpgroup.com to discuss your needs, and how CommuniCorp can help.

“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


Westpac recognised for leadership and commitment to improving Workplace Mental Health

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

CommuniCorp client Westpac was recently recognised as an ABA 100 Winner for Human Resource Management in The Australian Business Awards for their Aggressive Customer Training initiative, an initiative CommuniCorp was instrumental in executing

David Ninnes, Westpac Group Head of Health, Safety & Wellbeing said, “Our vision is to be one of the world’s great service companies and programs like this focus on delivering great customer service through all types of customer interactions. Service leadership is about empowering our people to have great relationships with every customer and this program takes a new approach to responding to customer incidents."

Working directly with Westpac, CommuniCorp developed and delivered a unique face-to-face training program, and consulted in the development of online training tools and policy review that all worked seamlessly to create a holistic and preventative program.

After the program Westpac experienced a significant increase in the reporting of aggressive incidents - recognising that employees are adopting the "zero tolerance" approach promoted by the program - along with greater proactive action around minimising and preventing aggressive incidents in branches.

The reason for establishing the Aggressive Customer Training Program was primarily to protect employee wellbeing, assisting them in deescalating aggressive customers and to reduce the emotional cost to employees. All these factors effect employee’s ability to perform and therefore provide customers with a lesser service. The program has helped allow Westpac employees to understand the issues that relate to parts of society, which ultimately cause people to behave in such aggressive ways.

"Our employees are now able to resolve customer issues with confidence, building stronger, more positive relationships and taking ownership of the entire experience.” Ninnes says



Psychologically Safe & Healthy Workplaces Consulting Services

As experienced workplace psychologists, we at CommuniCorp recognise the importance of employing a strategic approach to psychological safety and health in the workplace, and understand what is practically required for programs and initiatives to have a genuine impact on an organisation’s psychological health. Our consulting services to corporate organisations provide exactly this advice. Through close consultation, guidance, and organisation-specific review and advice and utilising international best practice frameworks and strategy, CommuniCorp consulting services provide organisations with a clear action plan for building and enhancing the psychological safety and health for their workplace.


Review a full list of CommuniCorp Consulting Services on our website by clicking here. IF you would like to talk with one of the team to discuss your specific needs, please contact us on:

Phone: 1300 855 140

Email: info@communicorpgroup.com



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