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Learning Fosters Psychologically Healthy Workplaces
Knowledge, skills and abilities gained by employees can not only make a healthier workplace, but also benefit employers in the long run.
There’s no easy road to learning. It’s a two-way street — learning and development — which can lead to a healthy workplace.
The American Psychological Association (APA) recently awarded eight companies with their Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards (PHWA). The companies were rated on five different criteria: employee involvement, health and safety, work-life balance, employee recognition, and employee growth and development.
According to David Ballard, head of APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program, having opportunities for growth and development in an organization can build employees’ knowledge, skills and abilities. In turn, this can be applied to new situations that can increase motivation, job satisfaction and the ability to manage job stress, because employees have the necessary resources to do their jobs.
“All this can translate again for the organization as well. It improves organizational effectiveness [and] work quality, and the organization also can be positioned as an employer of choice,” Ballard said. “It can attract and retain the best employees and that’s what it takes to have a competitive advantage today.”
In a survey conducted by the APA, 53 percent of working Americans reported they have participated in workplace training. Among the PHWA recipients, it was 74 percent of employees. In the same survey, 74 percent of employees at PHWA recipients also said they were satisfied with their employer’s training and development opportunities, while just 44 percent of overall survey respondents were satisfied. In addition, 32 percent of overall respondents said they were seeking employment elsewhere, compared to only 6 percent of employees at PHWA recipients.
“Employees are looking for something that’s meaningful for them, something where they can experience growth,” Ballard said. “Whether that’s growth within the position they’re going to be in for some time, using it as opportunities for career advancement or personal benefit, or getting value and developing themselves, it’s something that’s important to employees.”
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