The Bagg Group welcomes the new national standard for psychological health at work


Every employer wants people who are energetic, high-achievers, dedicated, tireless workers.   Certainly, people who declare themselves strict clock-watchers don’t get to the top of anyone’s shortlist.

At The Bagg Group, we work with small to large clients in all industries.  We screen our candidates to ensure they’ve got the drive and flexibility to be positive contributors to their employers.   It doesn’t matter whether we interview people for full-time positions, contract or temporary placement, we need to know our candidates are committed to getting their tasks done—and done well.

But here’s what 40+ years of experience in staffing has taught us.  The employee-employer relationship is a two-way street.  It’s not a strong relationship if you expect a lot of your employees but you don’t have their back.

What’s having your employee’s back look like:  For one thing, recognition for their life/work balance needs.  For another, assurance that they won’t be expected to meet unreasonable demands or be treated with disrespect.

That’s why we welcome the recent federal government initiative of a voluntary national standard to safeguard the psychological wellbeing of all employees.   The standard is titled Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.

At The Bagg Group, we’ve spoken with thousands of candidates over the decades.  We know how critically important it is to employees, and to their families, that employers ensure a psychologically healthy and safe workplace.  What’s more, it just makes good business sense.  Companies that care have higher rates of attracting and keeping talent, and productivity.

While the national standard is not law, it does send a strong message that creating a mentally healthy environment should to be a company-wide mandate — and not just something that may, or may not, happen depending on a particular manager or team.

To that end, the standard is well worth considering as a valuable tool for risk management.  Employers are being increasingly held legally responsible for psychological health and safety in the workplace.  As employers know, bullying, intimidation, harassment and other forms of abuse are illegal under the Canadian Labour Code.

The standard is a guidance resource –it is designed to help you with the following:

  • Identify psychological hazards in the workplace.
  • Assess and control the risks in the workplace associated with hazards that cannot be eliminated (e.g. stressors due to organizational change or reasonable job demands).
  • Implement practices that support and promote psychological health and safety in the workplace.
  • Foster a culture that promotes psychological health and safety in the workplace.
  • Use its audit tool to apply a system of measurement and review to ensure sustainability of the overall approach.
  • Refer to scenarios for organizations of all sizes, have access to many resources and references.

People spend such a huge part of their life at work.  As staffing solution experts, we know that a happy, respectful, safe environment is what employees need to thrive.  Besides, as federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt said, “ Why shouldn’t we be happy at work?”

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