Okay, maybe not a new idea but a progressive one that doesn’t have to be such a taboo-like notion. Indeed, some of us have experience with a toxic workplace environment that made us question how the whole thing is being operated. It might have felt like HR didn’t do as much as they could have, or maybe you were wrongly terminated. It’s becoming a much bigger issue now, especially in non-progressive areas – but it’s not about being progressive; it’s about ethically and adequately running a business. Much falls on the leader’s understanding of organizational psychology when these things happen. A July 2022 article highlights the CEO of the American Psychological Association and his focus on running the organization through scientific research centered on organizational psychology. Due to this research, he figured out that one of the most common stressors within an organization is that employees are not involved enough in company decisions that impact their lives and jobs.
Employees need flexibility to thrive. At least that was reported when APA’s CEO issued surveys to the employees of the American Psychological Association. So, to remedy the problem and utilize this feedback, he instituted the idea of maximum flexibility. Essentially, if someone wants to work remotely – he lets them. To take it a step further, he also allows employees to relocate with their job. He’s also made it essential to collect regular feedback from employees.
Of course, there are downsides or adverse reactions to such ideas. Some felt like allowing employees to work from home would negatively impact APA members; however, less than 1% of employees ever come into the building at a given time. Operationally, that was not a concern. Thankfully, due to research over the pandemic, remote work has proven its ability to stay true to the APA mission.
So, here’s a takeaway:
- Train management to promote health and well-being, particularly regarding mental health.
- Increase options for where, when, and how employees work
- Re-examine health insurance policies to include mental health coverage
- Gather and utilize employee feedback
- Take a critical look at equity, diversity, and inclusion policies
- Develop programs and policies that support mental health
To take a deeper look into the above suggestions, check out APA’s Striving for mental health in the workplace page.