Efficiently managing health and safety risks in any business or workplace is more than avoiding accidents. It all jots down to protecting the physical and psychological well-being of the employees.
Psychosocial risk factors and workplace stress are top most common hazards resulting in various ill health cases within the work environment.
This content piece will explain in detail what are the psychosocial risks and the hazard they pose to individuals at work and what preventive measures can help minimize the problem.
What are the Psychosocial Risks?
Psychosocial risks arise due to several factors like poor work design, improper management, or poor social context of work.
These factors result in negative psychological, social, or physical risks and can cause job burnout, stress, depression, and anxiety.
According to an estimate, nearly half of the workforce across the globe considers stress to be a common risk factor in most workplaces. Stress-related mental health disorders are frequently reported with varying incidence rates of 13% of psychological distress.
Some common factors leading to psychosocial risks are:
- Constant or excessive workloads
- Poor control over how the job is done
- Poor decision-making or lack of worker involvement in the process
- Poor supervisory support
- Frequent organizational change with poor management tactics
- Harassment, bullying & discrimination at work
Most people know instinctively that these things are unpleasant and hazardous to health and safety. For any workplace or organization, the negative impact of these factors can result in poor business performance or irreversible damage to the company’s reputation.
Therefore, being an employer manager, the duty falls on you to prevent the well-being of your workers by effectively assisting them to mitigate the problem.
Major Psychosocial Factors
There are numerous psychosocial risk factors to be aware of in any workplace. For the scope of this blog post, some major factors are listed below:
Work-life balance is a crucial factor that plays a significant role in managing psychosocial risks at work. Every individual has multiple roles in their personal and professional life. A conflict between fulfilling these roles and responsibilities can result in work overload which in turn can affect an employee’s mental well-being.
Strong Leadership & Clear Expectations
A workplace where strong and effective leadership is incorporated as part of safety practices with employees being well aware of what is expected of them as part of maintaining a safe and secure workplace.
Organizational culture is a basis for creating a safe and secure work environment. A workplace characterized by trust, honesty, and fairness has higher chances of employee retention and increasing staff efficiency.
On contrary, if managers and supervisors neglect their duties to maintain a safety awareness culture there is a higher chance of staff turnover rate and poor performance which altogether affects a worker’s mental health and increases stress rates.
An engaged workforce means a motivated workforce. The employees who are involved in the work process feel connected which is a good thing to boost their emotional and physical wellness.
Physical safety includes the environment an employee works in. Employers who take additional steps to provide a safe environment to their workers feel more secure and engaged which boosts their performance and increases job satisfaction.
Psychological safety is explained by higher job satisfaction, enhanced team learning behavior, and improved performance. Companies that fail to provide these things in their workplace see a high shift in staff turnover rates, and increased stress.
A psychologically safe workplace promotes emotional well-being among employees and minimizes mental disorders.
Recognition & Reward
Companies, where employees are acknowledged and appreciated for their timely efforts, help boost their morale which in turn motivates employees and increases their self-esteem. It also enhances workplace success and employees’ mental well-being.
Stress refers to negative physical and emotional tensions which affect an employee’s performance. Stress at work can occur due to both positive and negative experiences at work. Either way can result in poor mental health.
How Significant is the Problem?
Several studies show that nearly half of the workforce consider stress to be a common workplace issue that ruins productivity and job performance.
The major causes of workplace stressors are job insecurity, workload, long working hours, workplace violence, discrimination, harassment, and poor management.
This makes it crucial for employers to implement effective approaches to control such issues in their workplace to guarantee a risk-free workplace.
Effective Solution to Prevent & Manage the Risk
Having the right approach and effective strategies psychosocial risks can be prevented and successfully managed the health and safety risks in the workplace.
It is the legal, moral, and financial responsibility of responsible persons to manage stress and mental health issues on their work premises.
Employers can provide sufficient staff training as part of fulfilling their legal obligations. The vital courses to be provided are workplace stress training, mental health awareness training, sickness absence management training, violence at work training, bullying and harassment training, and other relevant training.
Psychosocial risks are some of the significant causes of creating health and safety hazards in the workplace. Those in managerial roles need to ensure they have practical approaches to identify, control, and manage the risk.