Learn about the National Standard – Psychological Protection

Learn about the National Standard –  Psychological Protection

Have you ever had to report a problem to your
supervisor at work? What about when you made a mistake? Or even when you wanted to bring up something
that you weren’t sure would be a popular opinion? What about a time when you felt burnt out
at work? Did you feel safe bringing this up? Were you ever afraid that this might affect
your job in a negative way? Does YOUR employer encourage or even appreciate
workers who speak up? A workplace where you feel safe sharing ideas
or asking questions, without being afraid that something bad may happen is a workplace
that models good PSYCHOLOGICAL PROTECTION. Workplaces that value psychological protection
value their workers’ emotional well-being. A lot of times, we think of safety as a concept
limited to PHYSICAL risks. This could be working with chemicals, in dangerous
or high risk environments, or around infectious diseases. Safety isn’t always just about what might
hurt your BODY, but also what might hurt your MIND. There are situations at work that can be harmful
or unsafe for your mental health. Let’s look at an example. This is Deepak. Deepak is not having a great time at work
lately. Deepak is a creative thinker and usually has
some big ideas. He feels that his suggestions are often brushed
aside. He is not sure if that is because of the quality
of his ideas or that his supervisor just doesn’t want input from the team. Deepak is even staring to think that sharing
ideas might be putting his job at risk. He no longer feels safe. What could Deepak’s workplace do to make
sure that he feels psychologically protected? Although not everyone may feel comfortable
doing so, it’s important that we all speak up. It’s also important for managers to encourage
an environment where workers feel safe to speak up and be heard. Managers can also be the ones to approach
workers and ask for their opinions. Allowing employees to contribute positive
solutions and ideas leads to reduced conflict, fewer job-related errors, accidents or injuries,
better compliance to rules and regulations, and reduced bullying and harassment. Having processes, policies, and an organizational
culture that encourages worker input and feedback is essential. It ensures that workers are contributing to
their maximum potential and feel energized in their work. Leaders have a responsibility to promote,
model, and reinforce these practices. Workplace culture makes a big difference in
how safe people feel. Embrace new ideas. See discussions as moments of learning, sharing,
and collaboration. Embrace mistakes- that’s how we learn! Have opportunities for workers to have open
and confidential chats with their supervisors. A culture of sharing can be embedded in your
daily workplace environment, such as during meetings, while working toward project concepts,
or even when working through deadlines. After watching this video, make a list of
the things your workplace does to keep you psychologically protected. What’s one thing you can do to make your
workplace feel even safer? Psychological protection is one of 13 factors
that support psychological health and safety in the workplace Learn more at: MentalHealthCommission.ca/NationalStandard For more resources for your workplace, check
out haveTHATtalk.ca. Developed in collaboration by Ottawa Public
Health and the Mental Health Commission of Canada. With content adapted with permission from
Mindful Employer Canada…And support from Bell Let’s Talk.

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