In this day and age, organisations are keen to acknowledge mental wellbeing in the workplace. Offering after-the-event support is a common method, but how many companies seek out the root cause?
Psychological risks are stressors that have the potential to negatively impact mental wellbeing. They could stem from the way work is organised, or be a by-product of economic or social contexts. Some are easy to identify, while others blend in as day-to-day occurrences – yet all are equally as harmful.
Knowing the difference and approaching situations accordingly helps to minimise potential threats before they develop, and improves mental wellbeing. Here, we highlight four of the most common psychological risks to be aware of.
Tight deadlines, seemingly never-ending tasks and not enough time in the day isn’t uncommon in the workplace. For countless companies, it’s just the ‘nature of the job’, but how many of your employees are really feeling the pressure?
At the risk of coming across as incompetent, some won’t speak out, yet that doesn’t mean they’re not suffering internally. On the other hand, excessively low job demands or responsibilities are just as problematic.
Various factors can trigger feelings of job insecurity. While more obvious causes include announcements of downsizing, redundancy or an organisational restructure, underperformance might also contribute to this psychological risk.
From a management perspective, this could simply be perceived as part of employee development, with no view to terminate their contract. But for a worker, it could lead to crippling anxiety and spiralling doubt over the safety of their job.
‘The customer is always right’ is something you hear in most industries. Unfortunately, not every customer is a happy one. In many workplaces, dealing with client aggression is simply part and parcel of the job, but this doesn’t make it any less of a psychological risk for staff.
Whether it’s a one-off occurrence or consistent clashes, employers should consider how hostile encounters could impact team members. Such situations shouldn’t be overlooked, even if employee discomfort isn’t blatantly obvious.
When it comes to more overt psychological risks, one of the most serious is harassment or bullying between workers. It goes without saying that this can significantly damage a person’s wellbeing, yet many cases go unnoticed or unreported.
Then there’s the issue of what an employer classes as this type of behaviour. While some companies have anti-bullying policies in place, the ones that don’t could contribute to the risk being overlooked – all at the victim’s expense.
It’s important not to confuse psychological risks with harmless by-products of a working environment. When unidentified and untreated, they start to fester, potentially causing more severe mental and physical issues.
While bullying can (and should) be prevented, client aggression can’t simply be erased. Instead, you need to learn how to assess, control and manage the risks, while promoting mental wellbeing in the workplace and encouraging employee engagement. Ultimately, it will benefit your team and business by:
Not sure where to start? Look no further than ISO 45003, the first international Standard on psychological health and safety at work.
Take control of staff wellbeing with Centre for Assessment
Centre for Assessment is a specialist UKAS-accredited certification body, highly equipped with the expertise to deliver this Standard for your organisation.
Although created to complement ISO 45001 (Occupational Health & Safety Management), you can implement the guidance as a standalone framework. We’ll even provide training to help you embed the requirements across your entire workplace.
To learn more about this Standard, call us on 0161 237 4080 or email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’re always happy to help.