likely reflects the successful efforts by many Canadian employ-ers
to reduce lost-time work injuries and the decline of physically
demanding jobs. Even so, employees in lower-trust organizations
consider their workplaces somewhat less safe.
WORKPLACE INFLUENCES ON
The Standard identifies 13 specific workplace characteristics
that can either enhance or diminish the psychological well-being
1. Psychological and social support
2. Organizational culture
3. Clear leadership and expectations
4. Civility and respect
5. Psychological job demands
6. Growth and development
7. Recognition and rewards
8. Involvement and influence
9. Workload management
11. Work-life balance
12. Protection from violence, bullying and harassment
13. Physical safety.
The Trust Index Survey sheds new light on the relationship
between these 13 workplace factors and employees’ perceptions of
the psychological health of their work environment. The results in
Figure 2 are striking.
Around 90 per cent of employees who rate their workplace as
psychologically and emotionally healthy also give very positive
assessments of all 13 factors in the Standard. In contrast, the same
is true for only about half of survey respondents who give neutral
or negative assessments of their workplace as psychologically and
TRUSTWORTHY MANAGERS LISTEN AND
RESPOND TO EMPLOYEE INPUT AND ARE
OPEN AND HONEST ABOUT CHANGE.
The one exception is physical safety. As already noted, this
should not be surprising. However, the new insight in Figure 2 is
that the most psychologically healthy workplaces also are highly
rated to be physically safe.
For employers, the practical implications here are three-fold:
1. Employees won’t experience their work environment as
a “great place to work” unless it is both physically and
2. The Standard’s 13 workplace factors are not only essential
for promoting employee psychological well-being, they also
define a great place to work.
3. The reason a great workplace is synonymous with
psychological well-being comes down to one word: trust.
Workplace health and safety experts advocate creating a “culture
of health” and a “safety culture” as building blocks for a healthy
organization. Achieving these goals can only happen in a climate
of trust. Employees and managers must trust one another and
managers must take employees’ best interests into account in what
they say and do. In short, all workplace relationships must rest on
a foundation of trust in order for the work environment to be truly
healthy, safe and productive. Let this be a guiding principle for any
employer planning to implement the Standard. n
Graham Lowe, PhD, is president of The Graham Lowe Group Inc.
HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ FEBRUARY 2019 ❚ 51