Much emphasis and support has been placed on workplace safety in the last few decades by addressing occupational health factors. However, a recent study has identified another risk factor that could be just as hazardous as a chemical or biological agent − the toxic workplace.
A two year-long study conducted by the University of South Australia and published in The British Medical Journal in June 2021 found that full-time workers employed by organizations that did not prioritize their employees’ mental health have a threefold increase of being diagnosed with depression.
Stress can be influenced by poor management as much as it can by long working hours and a heavy workload. By not acknowledging or rewarding employees for hard work, or placing unreasonable demands on them, by bullying and other negative behaviour, management is creating an environment, a toxic workplace, where employees are at a greater risk for depression.
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), 21.4% of the working population in Canada currently experience mental health conditions, which can affect their productivity. In 2011 alone, mental health problems resulted in $6 billion in lost productivity due to absenteeism, stress leave and turnover.
In a toxic workplace, employee burnout becomes inevitable. Factor in stress from outside the workplace and a global pandemic, you have a potential workplace crisis.
Repairing a toxic workplace starts when employee concerns and feedback are acknowledged and steps are taken to change the climate. A third party could help with the process, working with management to improve the psychosocial safety climate.
Psychosocial safety climate refers to shared perceptions about policies and procedures for protecting worker psychological health and safety and implementing it into practice.
At Med-I-Well, we have developed evidence-based approaches to address toxic workplaces.
Our Health Coach Toon van Lankvelt is now a CMHA Certified Psychological Health and Safety Advisor. This certification enables Med-I-Well to work with businesses and organizations to improve the psychological health and safety in their workplaces or implement the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.
Would your employees benefit from health and wellness support? Contact us at email@example.com.