What is a Psychosocial Safety Climate (PSC)?
PSC relates to the psychological health of workers. Worker's compensation claims in Australia over the last 10 years indicate a steady increase in psychological injuries. These types of claims incur the largest proportion of expense in relation to compensation claims2.
Agencies with a high PSC have an average unscheduled absence rate of almost 2 days lower than the overall APS average. These agencies place a priority on the health and wellbeing of their employees. They are workplaces where managers are quick to correct problems or issues affecting employees' psychological health, and where employees are active participants in monitoring risks and shaping the workplace.
Tools and resources
Managers can build a team culture, with a positive psychosocial climate through these actions:
- Ensure a zero tolerance approach to bullying.
- Create a discrimination free workplace where diversity is respected.
- Understand employees' mental health conditions and their symptoms.
- Communicate effectively with employees about mental health.
- Make reasonable adjustments to enable all employees to perform at their best.
- Recognise and respond to early signs of stress.
- Engage with HR to ensure you get the right advice and support to address issues effectively.
- Look after yourself—it's important you look after your own health and wellbeing, too.
Building a safe and inclusive workplace culture is the responsibility of all employees. However, research indicates that management styles that are characterised by openness and encouragement of employee participation are more likely to promote a positive safety culture.
Workplace health and wellbeing programs increase employee engagement, leading to reduced absenteeism and increased productivity. If you would like to know more, information is available at HeadsUp, Comcare and SafeWork Australia.
Included below are resources you may find useful. We will continue to add more in the coming months:
- Download: Working Together: Promoting mental health and wellbeing at work (PDF File)
- Watch: Liz Tobin from beyondblue recently gave a presentation on some practical tips managers can take to creating a mentally healthy workplace.
2 Safe Work Australia: The Incidence of Accepted Workers' Compensation Claims for Mental Stress in Australia, April 2013