Top Employers Show Investing In Health and Well-Being Leads to Business Success

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 General News
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WASHINGTON, March 10 Feeling overworked, underpaid,worried about job security and making ends meet, three-fourths of Americanssay they are stressed about work and money. But workplaces that invest in thewell-being of employees reap rewards for employer and employees alike,including benefits such as reduced stress, lower employee turnover andenhanced organizational performance.

At a ceremony in Washington DC yesterday, the American PsychologicalAssociation (APA) recognized five organizations for their comprehensiveefforts to promote employee health and well-being, while enhancingorganizational performance.

Companies presented with the American Psychological Association's 2008Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award (PHWA) were Arkansas EducationalTelevision Network, Cooperativa de Seguros Multiples de Puerto Rico, NikeTennessee, Porter Keadle Moore (Georgia) and Westminster Savings Credit Union(British Columbia).

These five organizations report an average turnover rate of just 11percent -- significantly less than the national average of 40 percent asreported by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Surveyscompleted by the winning organizations show that only 21 percent of employeesreported experiencing chronic work stress compared to 34 percent nationally,and more than 80 percent of employees reported being satisfied with their job,compared to only 66 percent nationally.(1)

"Creating a psychologically healthy workplace means more than justremediating problems. It's about promoting good health, enhancing performanceand creating a work environment where both employees and the organization canthrive," says David Ballard, PsyD, MBA, APA's assistant executive director forcorporate relations and business strategy.

Winners also report cost savings from their workplace practices. AtWestminster Savings Credit Union, high employee satisfaction and low turnovermeans that two thirds of WSCU's openings are filled internally, loweringadministrative costs. Increased productivity is another benefit for theorganizations. In 2007, Nike Tennessee increased productivity by 51 percent,while reducing injury rates by almost 30 percent. And at Cooperativa deSeguros Multiples, an insurance company in Puerto Rico, employee loyalty ishigh with a 15-year average length of service and a turnover rate of less thantwo percent.

Psychologically healthy workplace practices fall into five categories:employee involvement; health and safety; employee growth and development;work-life balance and employee recognition. Employee participation in decisionmaking, skills training and leadership development, flexible workarrangements, and programs promoting healthy lifestyle and behavior choicesare just a few of the qualities that define a psychologically healthyworkplace.

In addition to the PHWA winners, nine organizations received BestPractices Honors for an innovative program or policy that contributes to apsychologically healthy work environment. The honorees are Alaska PacificUniversity; Ascend One (Maryland); Bethesda Hospital (Minnesota); DaytonMarriott (Ohio); The Holland/Burgerville (Washington); Hope CommunityResources (Alaska) and Trinity Services (Illinois). PHWA winners ArkansasEducational Television Network and Westminster Savings Credit Union were alsorecognized as Best Practice recipients.

APA's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award

The Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award (PHWA) program has both local-and national-level components. APA's PHWA spans North America and is designedto showcase the very best from among the winners recognized by APA'saffiliated state, provincial and territorial psychological associations.Nominees are selected from a pool of previous local winners and evaluated ontheir workplace programs and policies in the areas of employee involvement,health and safety, employee grow

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