I recently attended and spoke at the APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Conference. The goal of the conference as outlined by the APA’s visionary Assistant Executive Director, Dr. David Ballard (who also happens to have an MBA) was to celebrate and learn from,
“Employers who understand the link between employee well-being and organizational performance strive to maintain a work environment characterized by openness, fairness, trust and respect, even when difficult actions were required. These employers are positioned for success in the economic recovery and will have a distinct competitive advantage in their ability to attract and retain the very best employees.”
The conference was organized around the core elements of the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Model:
Over the past few days, other speakers and attendees have shared their insightful overviews of the conference in the following posts:
- “the more we get together the happier we will be” post by presenter, Fran Melmed of context communication consulting, llc
- “The benchmarks of a psychologically healthy workplace” post and video by presenter, Judy Martin of WorkLife Nation
- “Building the business case for employee well-being” post by Marie-Josee Salvas Shaar for Positive Psychology Daily News
My main takeaway from the two days was simply that…every CEO should regret not attending, both professionally and personally.
Had they participated, they would have learned about strategies to resolve many of their organization’s most vexing bottom line challenges—employee stress, lack of employee engagement, high cost of health care, truly leveraging diversity, etc—issues that directly impact growth and profitability.
CEOs would have heard the former U.S. Secretary of Labor, Alexis M. Herman, in her introduction of the winners of the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award point out the three main challenges facing companies as we move into a “do more with less” era:
- More role ambiguity as everyone takes on more roles and responsibilities which increases the level of job stress.
- Increased inter-generational worker tension as Boomers work longer, but graduates can’t find work.
- Increased worker polarization and isolation as workers who lose jobs can’t find work at the same level of income or status.
But perhaps most importantly, CEOs would have seen how they benefit personally from strategies that create a psychologically healthier workplace. They would realize that they’re not alone in the isolation of overwhelming work+life challenges and stress which are outcomes of a work+life fit model that no longer suits even for those at senior levels.
A recent CNN.com article, “Why Being a CEO Should Come with a Health Warning,” highlights the research conducted by Steve Tappin for his book, The Secrets of CEOs. From his interviews with 150 CEOs, Tappin learned that: (click here for more)