Psychosocial risks surveys evaluate, identify and measure working conditions related to the company that may pose a risk to the employee, both physical, psychological and emotional.
Analysing these conditions is essential in understanding if the organization has a healthy environment in which employees can carry out their functions stress-free. It there is a toxic environment, the level of performance could suffer serious consequences, negatively impacting the staff and all the processes that keep the company on track, endangering its existence.
A study carried out by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) highlights that 51 % of European workers consider stress to be a common element in their workplaces, where 16% find it to be very common.
However, beyond the individual differences of each worker, stress is a factor that can be controlled and managed from the Occupational Risk Prevention department and work to avoid the appearance of other disorders, such as depression or burnout syndrome.
What are psychosocial risks?
When we talk about psychosocial risks, we are referring to all those aspects that impact negatively employees, affecting their physical and mental health state. These could derive due to several factors, such as a poor design of the work place, due to poor ergonomics, a bad organization or management of tasks and social isolation.
These factors are responsible for absenteeism, the lack of motivation, accidents, low productivity, hostility, toxicity, lack of commitment , etc … costing companies millions of euros per year.
Some examples of working conditions that pose a psychosocial risk for employees are:
- Long-term excessive workload.
- Contradictory demands.
- Ambiguity in the functions to be developed.
- Lack of participation in work decisions.
- Job insecurity.
- Lack of communication and support between colleagues and managers.
- Sexual harassment, bullying, mobbing …
Working in a favourable, healthy and safe environment improves performance, personal development and the well-being of individuals.
How to manage psychosocial risks?
The Committee of Health and Safety at work ( Directive 89/391 EEC ) establishes that it is mandatory for all companies to ensure the mental safety of workers, making employers responsible in identifying possible risks, taking appropriate measures, making periodic evaluations and creating the necessary documentation to train and evangelize employees.
Promoting the participation of workers in many organizational decisions, especially those that involve them directly, is essential in the success and effectiveness of the measures placed to prevent stress in the work place.
One of the most effective methods to carry out the analysis of psychosocial risks involving the staff are the Psychosocial Risks Questionnaires.
These questionnaires are individual, anonymous and voluntary. They help collect valuable information, both quantitative and qualitative, which help management improve working conditions.
There are many types and models of these questionnaire, but the most common dimensions are: psychological demands, control over work, insecurity about the future, social support and quality of leadership, double presence and esteem.
Dimensions of psychosocial risks
This dimension is divided into subsections, which measure psychological demands according to their characteristics:
- Quantitative. It refers to the volume of work existing in relation to the amount of time to carry it out. A poor balance between both aspects means having to work too fast, having piled up work, an irregular organization or fluctuations in tasks.
- Sensory. It refers to sensitive demands related to levels of concentration, precision, detail, or attention. Excessive levels of sensory requirements can burn and frustrate the worker, while too low levels can be boring and demotivating for the person.
- Cognitive. Cognitive demands at work are about making decisions, coming up with new ideas, memorizing, managing knowledge, and managing various tasks simultaneously. An appropriate balance allows employees to overcome challenges, contributing to their both personal and professional development.
- Emotional. Refers to how emotionally exhausting is the work to be carried out and if employees need to hide their feelings towards customers, managers or other colleagues for professional purposes.
Control over work
Can employees decide how to organize their work, when to rest, when to take a vacation? This dimension measures the degree of autonomy which employees have over their position and their responsibilities, as well as their needs for a work-life balance.
Contrary to what it may seem, a very high level of autonomy could generate anxiety and lack of confidence, while one that is too low could generate frustration and lack of motivation.
Insecurity about the future
Job insecurity is one of the main contributing factors to multiple health problems. This dimension is intended to measure the uncertainty about working conditions which include meaningless days, hours, salaries, the possibility of development and growth, changing roles, fear of being fired, among other things.
Social support and quality of leadership
Social support refers to the help received from peers and leaders when he or she needs it. It includes both work and personal aspects and looks at the emotional support and understanding during difficult periods which an employee can pass.
On the other hand, having a top notch leadership that acts as a guide and mentor will help to ensure personal growth, motivation and the well-being of collaborators.
This dimension refers to an aspect that is rarely taken into account and generates inequality between men and women: this item is intended to measure the gap between labour and domestic labour work.
“If you ever away from home, are the housework chores that you do left undone? “,” When you are in the company, do you think about your household and family tasks? “,” Are there times when you need to be at the office and at home at the same time? “. These are examples of questions that are asked to measure double presence, which is a source of stress and anxiety.
This measures the recognition received by superiors in regards to the performance levels, having an adequate support and fair treatment from others.
Team Insights and psychosocial risk assessment
Carrying out a single survey of psychosocial risks will not help remedy or solve the problems that derive from them.
According to the Ministry of Labour and Social Economy , an evaluation of these risks requires a process that consists of the following phases:
- Identification of risk factors.
- Selection of the appropriate research methodology and techniques.
- Planning and execution of the field work to be carried out.
Team Insights helps carry out these three phases thanks to its system based on Big Data and People Analytics. This is because the collection of data of employees helps identify risk factors from a preventive point of view and, if any sign of potential risk where to be detected, it would be able to carry out an in-depth analysis with a specific survey of psychosocial risks.
Team Insights uses new, valid and reliable statistical methodologies that provides objective and useful results to make decisions.
Team Insights is the perfect complement for planning measures to help improve the welfare of employees, minimizing psychosocial risks and promoting the value and success of your organization.