New Worksafe guidelines in Victoria may soon be mandating that organisations with 50+ employees do everything possible to reduce the psychological injury of their staff. We must take an external (role design, culture etc.) and an internal (mental health and wellbeing tools) approach to this. If all we do is make changes to the external world, without supporting people to do their own internal work, it is like attempting to move the Titanic’s fatal iceberg. We need to be training the captain and their team more effectively to avoid the collision in the first place!
Following two years of a rather relentless global pandemic, a lot of us are struggling to regain our sense of pre-pandemic calm and ease. This is not surprising, nor is it out fault. It is, however, our responsibility as employers and employees to do something about it now.
Worksafe Victoria has put forward a set of guidelines for employers with over 50 staff to support them to reduce the level of psychosocial hazards faced by employees.
A recent article in the National Law review indicates these guidelines may take effect as early as July 1st this year. Of course, we support any improvements to workplaces that can reduce psychological injury, such as increasing role clarity, supporting reasonable work hours and encouraging respect, trust and support within teams. However, it must be noted, that ultimately, it is the individual’s responsibility to manage their own psychological wellbeing for only we can know what is really going on in our own body, mind, and heart.
Of course, environmental, structural, and possibly cultural change is needed in some workplaces to support employee’s psychological health – our Victorian healthcare system is a prime example of this. However, if all we do is make changes to the external world, without supporting people to do their own internal work, it is like attempting to move the Titanic’s fatal iceberg, whereas we need to be training the captain and his team more effectively so as not to steer into it in the first place!
It would be foolish for us to suggest employers do not have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace, this should be a given. It is equally foolish to believe this is the only answer to the rising rates of burn out and stress-leave we are seeing across sectors. We need to be equipping our teams with a scientifically validated and evidence-based, holistic tool kit to maintain good mental health – whatever life throws at them.
The Mind You Program is a comprehensive 3-pillar model of good mental health, based on the neuroscience of connection and over 40 years of collective experience in the fields of clinical and organisational psychology, mental health and wellbeing. This flexible solution can be offered both online and in-person and can be woven into the fabric of your organisation through integration with your existing LMS and other people and culture or OH&S initiatives.
It is not just a short course or a one-day workshop – we provide flexible access to practical tools and guidance over a 12-month period. Please go to our website to find out more.