Mentally Health Work Culture

Maintaining a healthy psychosocial work environment is an integral part of maintaining a safe work environment. The psychosocial environment at work is driven by two major factors:

  • organisational culture
  • organisation of work

Organisational culture consists of the attitudes, values and beliefs that guide workplace behaviours and influence the work environment on a daily basis. To put it simply, it is "how things are done at Deakin". The organisational culture affects the mental and physical well-being of all staff members. Organisational culture focuses on factors that affect the interaction between people, their work and the organisation.

Some key components of organisational culture are:

  • civility and respect shown by co-workers and managers (civility)
  • fairness in the way people are treated (relationships)
  • appreciation and recognition (support)
  • honesty and transparency shown by management and workers (relationships)
  • support for work-life balance (support)
  • trust between management and workers (relationships)

The organisation of work covers aspects of the way work is designed and carried out. These include:

  • demands or workload (demands)
  • communication quality and quantity (support)
  • control, decision latitude or influence over how the work is done (control)
  • fairness in the way work is distributed (control)
  • clarity of roles and expectations (role)
  • support provided in terms of resources (support)
  • how organisational change (large or small) is managed and communicated in the organisation (change)
  • psychological fit between the employee's interpersonal and emotional competencies, their job skills, and the position they hold (demands)
  • opportunities for growth and development (support)
  • When these factors are absent or handled poorly in the workplace, they become sources of stress, or "stressors", for staff. There is evidence showing many of these factors create two to three times greater risk of injuries, poor productivity and workplace conflict.
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