More than ever, the issue of psychosocial risks is at the heart of organisational concerns. Organisations are now making considerable efforts to act upstream, with the help of trained specialists. For example, at our firm, Olympe, we have set up a range of services specifically linked to mental health prevention and promotion. Our services give organisations a better understanding of psychosocial risk factors, so that they can take early action to protect the psychological health of their workers. There are numerous solutions to mitigate psychosocial risks at work.
We will explore them below:
But first, in concrete terms, what are we referring to when we talk about PSR?
These are risks related to work organisation, management practices, employment conditions and social relations that are likely to have harmful effects on people’s physical and psychological health. Examples of psychosocial risks at work include harassment, violence, exposure to potentially traumatic events, excessive workload, lack of decision-making autonomy, as well as conflict of values between an employee and the company.
To prevent psychosocial risks, it is therefore important to act at different levels: individual, collective, and organisational. So, there is not just one solution, but many, requiring a global, participative, and continuous approach involving all the players in the workplace: employers, employees, trade unions, human resources and OHS committees. It is therefore a joint responsibility to put in place a psychological safety net, a protection that everyone must adhere to.
For example, at the individual level, support for workers will often take the form of recognition, training, and accompaniment by trained and identified colleagues: peer helpers.
At the collective level, it is of course a matter of promoting a culture of prevention and respect in the workplace by maximising the means of communication and the dissemination of information.
And finally, at the organisational level, the company must respond to the needs and abilities of its employees by reducing sources of stress and dissatisfaction at work, using clear policies, such as returning to work following an absence linked to psychological health, to encourage the establishment of favourable conditions for both employees and employers.
In short, companies now have access to several organisational tools and strategies to help them reduce PSR.
The ball is in their court!
By Roger Lemay