Psychosocial Risk Management

Psychosocial Risk Management (PRM)

‘Psychosocial’ describes the individual’s interaction with their working environment. Their reaction to what is happening in their environment at the present time, based on their perception of what has happened to them before.

What does that mean and how does it affect my workplace or me?

Why should your employers take notice of psychosocial risk management? After all they successfully created their own organisations.

In simple terms, as individuals we interact with the social environment constantly and are greatly influenced by factors such as those identified by the HSE: Role, Responsibility, Lack of Support, Change, Lack of Control, and Demands. When the pressure of any combination of these factors is unremitting and beyond the control of the individual, it can adversely affect their wellbeing and as a direct consequence, their productivity.

Psychosocial risk management is the way we can reduce the negative impact that will benefit both the organisation and the individual

Using trusted sources, including the HSE, CIPD and The Dame Carol Black Report, Working for Wellbeing Ltd have identified that financial costs to employers for neglecting the workplace psychosocial risk, can reach a staggering £3,725 for each employee (in a staff of 20 or more), when factoring in absenteeism, presenteeism, and staff turnover.

If that’s got your attention you may ask what steps can you take to remedy this.

If your organisation is not continuously measuring actions and responses, it will never efficiently manage workplace cultural change.

For any organisation to ‘buy in’ to this cyclical process you need to demonstrate the positive outcomes that should occur for them: better protection from litigation; higher productivity through staff wellbeing and better staff retention. For organisations to see a return on investment they will need to follow this simple guideline:

Senior management should view a successful PRM process as a ‘profit centre’ rather than a negative expense to their shareholders. Organisations that take a pro-active approach to wellbeing are making significant beneficial advances in reducing this human and fiscal drag on resources. West Dorset Hospital spent £350,000 and showed a £1,000,000 return in year one.

Changes in their working procedures or culture will maximise the return on their investment.

Psychosocial Risk Management Legal Compliance

Your organisation can expect to enjoy added benefits too:

Staff turnover is reduced and the organisation becomes ‘an employer of choice’ when the health and wellbeing of employees is measurably improved and sustained.

Legal compliance becomes more robust. There are a number of Acts and laws that are used against employers that are negligent in their obligations to make the workplace as safe as possible. These Acts and Laws are also used against employers who are unable to clearly prove that they have strategies in place. At Working for Wellbeing we understand the crucial part that an audit trail plays in protecting all parties. Our training courses provide trainees with the Industry Qualification Ltd’s accreditation and expertise to create a belt and braces audit trail.

Legal compliance requires that employers provide whatever information, instruction and training that is needed to ensure, so far as is reasonably practical the health and safety of their employees (H&S at Work 1974)

As a rule of thumb if a risk is foreseeable an organisation must have a policy in place to remove or deal with it. Organisations are not responsible if an employee is stressed but become so, if the risk was foreseeable and they failed to address it.

Every organisation is a micro community that has controls and rules that its members live by. We call that ‘workplace culture’ and it is the main contributing factor in the wellbeing and productivity of all members. Every employee is invited to join this community in return for financial reward and community status. On paper this would be a suitable trade off for both sides. However, since the organisation is not a mechanical production line and its employees are not robots but individual people with personal idiosyncrasies, many other factors have to be taken into account before maximum benefits for both parties can be achieved and maintained.

So to summarize: many Acts and laws regulate the workplace, and it is incumbent upon an employer to prove that these are obeyed. However, to create a truly productive environment the workplace must be controlled by consensual actions from all of the members in its community, rather than dictatorial and external influences only.

For an employee to deliver maximum performance, he or she needs to feel a valued member of the community, or their performance will be adversely affected. It has often been quoted that most people are performing at 45% of their best.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Francis McGinty Working for Wellbeing Ltd.

For more information on our training courses please contact us

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