Time to plan your Bank Holiday?

We all know innovation comes from free thinking. However, to implement that innovative idea, we need to have a plan of action in place.

That got me thinking. Would I have a more empowering bank holiday weekend if I made some targets I wanted to achieve and a plan to achieve them?

Only one way to find out!

The feature photo is my plan to sort out my garden this weekend and take the time at the end to enjoy it.

I expect to get the majority of this done – maybe not in the right order but does that really matter if the end goal is met?

For me, the end goal is to spend some time reflecting on what I’ve achieved and how amazing nature is within this world we live in of contradiction, unkindness, assumptions, pressure etc, nature just keeps going.

That for me is a key lesson. Accept the things we can’t change and just keep going – like nature.

How about you? Do you have a plan for this Bank Holiday?

Do you work in a Psychosocial safe environment?

Before answering that question we need to understand what Psychosocial means. International Standards have coined the phrase to cover mental and psychological health in the workplace. Psychosocial is core to their new standard – ISO45003 which is due to be released this summer.

A good starting point is to ask if we feel comfortable raising a concern. Will we be listened to?

To ensure their people and workplaces – even virtual ones – flourish, employers need to consider the psychosocial health of both. Risk assessing any hazards in the same way as assessing physical hazards under Occupational Health and Safety.

ISO45003 is an excellent framework for employers to follow., It’s a strong complement to the previous ISO45001.

For those not fluent in Health and Safety, HR or Occupational Health, it can be difficult to understand some of the language.

Asking the 10 points in the feature photo above will help you understand if you work in a psychosocially safe environment or not. Let’s take a closer look at each point:

  • On this team, I know what is expected of me. It’s critical to know what is expected of us in terms of our role – duties, shifts, training, deadlines etc as well as our behaviour – dress code, time keeping, following processes, interaction with team and customers. Clear communication is required to ensure expectations are understood. Employers need to communicate in a clear, inclusive way. If expectations are not clear we will not deliver and that will cause us the stress and anxiety of failing.

  • The company values outcomes more that outputs or inputs and no one has to ‘”look busy”. Outcomes – such as revenue earned, products sold, customer satisfaction etc matter more than targets of outputs met – amount of sales calls made for example. If the team focus on what truly matters to the business, they are safe to make decisions which can improve the outcomes even if they reduce outputs (targets) to get there.

  • If I make a mistake on this team, it is never held against me. A psychosocially safe workplace will never blame a team member for making a mistake when the intentions were good. By enabling mistakes to be made without fear of blame an organisation enables innovation which can a game changer against competitors. Key is to utilise systems and thinking to develop approaches to prevent mistakes before they happen and then work together when the do happen to resolve them quickly.

  • When something goes wrong, we work as a team to find the cause and solution together without blame. Relates to the point above. Simply put every failure is an opportunity to learn and improve. By being psychosocially safe, the entire team can learn and grow.
  • Every member of the team feels safe to bring up any problems or tough issues whether they are workplace or home based ranging from personal struggles, concerns about other team members – even senior management. Psychosocial safety is key to enable vulnerability to disclose and courage to raise these difficult subjects.

  • Members of the team never reject others for being different or having different views – therefore no one is left out or feels excluded. Evidence shows diversity, inclusion and respect in teams results in higher quality products and happier team members. Team members should be included in the process to make decisions to deliver results. This leads to team empowerment. This is especially crucial for remote/virtual workers.

  • It is safe for me to take a risk on this team – different to a mistake, a risk is about actions that might not work. In a psychosocial environment the framework is there for positive risk taking. This enables innovation ultimately delivering competitive business edge.

  • It is easy for me to ask my team for help – In psychosocially unsafe environments people hide their perceived vulnerabilities and don’t ask for help.

  • Nobody within my team would deliberately act in a way that undermines my efforts – In psychosocially unsafe environments, team members compete with each other to achieve their individual goals even undermining colleagues to get ahead. This counter-productive competition doesn’t exist in psychosocial safe environments.

  • My unique skills and talents are valued and utilised – In psychosocial safe environments team members are valued for being their true selves. This inclusion means individual assumptions (biases) about others are less likely to manifest.

After reading this, you will be able to evaluate whether or not you work in a psychosocial safe environment. You will also be able to recognise if you are a psychosocial safe colleague.

Change often starts with us.

Taken a wrong turn?

Ever put your trust in someone who’s then let you down?

It’s a situation we can all relate to – especially at work.

A conversation with someone in this position recently reminded me of a couple experiences in my distant past. The trouble with some humans is it can sometimes take repeat experiences to learn the lesson!

Similar to the person I spoke to recently, I was in a recruitment admin role in a complete rut. I knew the role was never going to expand and neither was the micro business it was in. One of the clients headhunted me to a role in their new start-up. Looking back, I didn’t reflect on the offer to check it was real and what I wanted. I believed everything I was told after all the offer was made by a client – they wouldn’t exaggerate the truth…..would they?

Of course! The thing I’d buried at the time was they were human first and foremost.

At that point in time, I was bored, frustrated and going nowhere professionally so I accepted the offer which I quickly realised was a big mistake! I could do nothing other than try to make the best of things until something better revealed itself. After all, who can leave a job without another to go to when they have bills to pay?

Shortly after came my repeat lesson. I was approached by a headhunter I knew about an ‘exciting new opportunity’ to set up a talent hub within a business who had done a lot of research and had interested clients lined up to use the hub’s services.

Too good to be true? Yep it was. The opportunity was real but they had done no research. There were no interested clients lined up.

The difference this time was my attitude. This was a blank canvas. I could grow it how I wanted it to be. Over a number of years I grew that talent hub into a multi award winning programme which made a real difference to many people who had experienced barriers to get into work.

So why share this with you? Well a couple of reasons really:

  1. We are all human and trust those offering us an escape – without considering it might not be the right escape.
  2. Sometimes when you make a mistake you can turn it into the most magical thing ever just by changing the way you look at it.

If you are in a rut professionally, frustrated and feeling like you are on a burning platform, take the time to stop and think what your purpose is. Plan your own escape journey to where you want to be. Otherwise you may end up having repeat experiences which are exhausting and worthless.

Is your business Psychosocially ready?

Refreshing to see ISO (International Standards Organisation) have recognised the need to put mental and psychological health front and centre of business. The terms are interchangeable. For clarity, global agreement has been reached by ISO to use the term ‘psychosocial’ which you will see more and more over the coming months.

ISO’s new certification due for launch later this year – ISO45003 – is designed for businesses to ensure their workplaces are psychosocially healthy and is especially attractive to businesses already holding ISO45001.

Having read the advanced final framework of ISO45003 – ‘Occupational health and safety management – psychological health and safety at work – guidelines for managing psychological risks’ – it is clear any business, even micro, businesses can use ISO45003’s guidelines as a framework without applying for accreditation.

Throughout the global pandemic, businesses have risen to diverse challenges. Some have flourished without making many changes such as the logistics and IT sectors. Others have embraced agile working remotely. Some will return in full to their workplaces whilst others will have a blended mix.

One thing is certain for all. The need to ensure their workplaces and teams are psychosocially safe and robust is critical for their staff, profits and reputation to flourish.

Now is the time to put tools in place to aid this.

Growing Talent is a strong tool for employers looking for new talent in their business. The programme has a solid track history of revealing untapped talent, delivering diversity and inclusion to the business as well as personal empowerment and growth to that talent.

Growing Talent covers many of the areas highlights in ISO45003 – see below.

Recruiting through Growing Talent gets employers ahead of the game when it comes to the psychosocial health of their workplaces.

Why not at Growing Talent to your recruitment tool box?