As founder of the National Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award program, APA has applied a number of psychologically healthy practices to its own workplace. CEO Norman Anderson, PhD, emphasizes employee involvement, health and safety, employee growth and development, work-life balance and employee recognition.
"When I came in as CEO in 2003, one of my points of emphasis was to make APA one of the best places to work in D.C.," says Anderson. "Given that psychology has been one of the leading disciplines in identifying the principles and practices that make for a positive and productive workplace, I felt APA should be a model for demonstrating these. I think we have made substantial progress toward that goal."
For example, APA offers employees yoga, meditation and weight-control classes during the lunch hour. The organization's long-running ergonomic assessment program helps employees improve their workstation set-up and comfort level. Flex schedules and telecommuting have been a part of the APA culture for years.
In addition, approximately every other year, APA conducts an employee climate survey to assess how APA employees view their workplace and to measure the organization's effectiveness at providing a healthy work environment. In the most recent survey, conducted in 2005, 89 percent of employee respondents said they felt that their benefits meet both their individual and family needs, and 77 percent felt that APA offers benefits not typically available at other organizations.
APA is currently using its own psychologically healthy workplace framework and methodology to examine its employee programs. The association expects to complete the evaluation in April, and use the information to further improve employee well-being at its central office.