The mental health and wellbeing of people at work has become more of a talked about issue recently because many companies are only now realising the importance of overall wellbeing (mind and body) to improve productivity in the workplace and to reduce safety incidents.
One of the issues that can negatively affect a worker’s mental wellbeing is change, particularly organisational change because by nature human beings take comfort in stability. Any changes within the organisation can shake up a person’s level of comfort and affect them mentally.
In light of this Comcare has released a tool to help workers deal with workplace change and reduce the psychological risk of changes in the workplace.
The tool takes the form of a guided self-assessment, monitoring and review process for workplaces to identify key risks and corrective actions to minimise the risk of change to workers.
An excerpt from a post on SafetyCulture.com.au explains more about the tool:
“Persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) have a duty under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) to ensure the health and safety of their workers,” stated Comcare.
“During times of changes it is important to ensure work health and safety systems are considered and integrated into the change process to monitor and prevent risks to workers. When change is supported through consultation and effective communication, it is received more positively by workers and can improve health and productivity.
“In contrast, when change is not well managed, it can lead to psychological injuries, poor health outcomes and a decrease in productivity.”
On its website Comcare discussed the importance of employers providing their workers with the necessary support during times of change. As Comcare points out on their website organisational change is a necessity and can bring about a lot of positive changes for the company as well as its employees however if they aren’t properly managed they can be difficult for workers to deal with and affect their morale and productivity.
Obviously changes are implemented to make improvements however they can do the opposite and affect negatively on worker’s performance and even increase absenteeism. They can also increase the potential for a worker to suffer psychologically which in certain work environments can also affect their physical wellbeing – construction being one of these environments. If workers aren’t in the right state of mind, they are more susceptible to injury.
On their website Comcare urged companies to focus on the following when it comes to implementing organisational changes:
To support your workers during times of change, read Looking after your employees during times of change. This publication helps employers to integrate work health and safety (WHS) and risk management into corporate planning during times of organisational change.
To facilitate a smoother and easier change process for workers, Comcare developed the tool as well as a number of fact sheets to provide companies with actual practical advice to dealing with this issue.
The following topics are covered by the Fact sheets:
- People Matters with Machinery of Government Changes
- Health and Productivity
- Psychological Injury and Performance
- Rehabilitation and Return to Work