Healthy work environments give companies a competitive edge

What is a psychologically healthy workplace? It may sound like new-age jargon, but recent awards from the American Psychological Association to companies cited as psychologically healthy workplaces go a long way toward quantifying what we have always known: some places are better to work at than others.

The association’s awards are based on employee involvement, work-life balance, employee growth and development, health and safety and employee recognition. The common theme among better companies is communication. One community bank hired a social worker to help provide a healthy environment for employees.  Others also offer ways to help employees focus on fitness and creating “team spirit” as well as schedule flexibility to help with work, life balance and manage the stress that is inevitable at work.

Happier employees get more done and offer better customer service and client interaction. You could also expect lower healthcare costs and reduced employee turnover. Companies that provide a psychologically healthy workplace also have a better chance of surviving lean times. The lesson: Taking care of employees takes care of the bottom line.