The Eurocadres blog
Psychosocial risk management as part of a CSR strategy
Employers should put employees´ mental health at the very top of the agenda especially at this time of ongoing and continuous changes in the labor market that are affecting a key dimension of job quality - health and safety - and which are contributing to the increase of psychosocial risks at a great extent.
Managing stress and common mental health problems such a depression and anxiety is paramount to avoid poor individual health and well-being and subsequent losses in productivity and economic activity. Professional and Managerial Staff are especially vulnerable to suffer from psychosocial risks such as stress, mobbing, violence and harassment which can ultimately lead to unproductive behaviors, mental health disorders and absenteeism at the workplace.
The introduction of new technologies, new production processes implying changes in the work place and organization of work might have reduced some physical demands and efforts, but psychosocial and emotional demands of workers are becoming increasingly important. Trade Unions must lobby governments at national and European level so as to create not only more jobs but also to foster better working conditions. A healthy and safe working environment is imperative to improve the quality of work and health itself.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is strategic. It offers opportunities for psychosocial risk management, but its potential role in promoting psychosocial risk management still has to be explored a bit further.
Experts state that there is a lack of psychosocial risks evaluation programs in most companies making it complicated to evaluate psychosocial risks in there. It is absolutely necessary to carry out campaigns on health and safety at work evaluation programs so as to provide Professional and Managerial Staff with a useful tool to face psychosocial risks at work. Managing psychosocial risks varies from country to country as a consequence of different national regulations, culture and economy. Many employers offer training, information and a point of contact to deal with psychosocial issues, but very few sets up procedures for dealing with risks.
In this sense, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is strategic. It offers opportunities for psychosocial risk management, but its potential role in promoting psychosocial risk management still has to be explored a bit further. CSR policies should cover socially responsible practices concerning employees, related to their safety and health, taking into account that at work can affect anyone at any level; but affects specifically Professional and Managerial Staff; it can happen in any sector and in any size of organization, affecting the health and safety of individuals, but also the health of organizations and national economies.
As trade unions, we must make employers, companies and authorities aware of the importance of spending time and resources to change the culture of psychosocial risks evaluation in the workplace and foster interventions to avoid a negative impact of the changing work place and working conditions on the employees´ health. CSR and Psychosocial Risk Management should go hand in hand in achieving this goal.
Paula Ruiz Torres
Vice-President of Eurocadres