March 5, 2007

Top Companies Show Investing in Employee Health and Well-Being Leads to Business Success

Six U.S. organizations receive national psychologically healthy workplace awards, ten honored for best practices

WASHINGTON-- Successful organizations know that taking care of their employees is not only the right thing to do; it also makes good business sense. Some U.S. employers are already demonstrating that investing in employee health and well-being leads to business success. The American Psychological Association (APA) recognized six organizations -- El Nuevo Dia (Puerto Rico), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Vermont), Healthwise (Idaho), Koinonia Homes (Ohio), the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (Nevada) and YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities Network (New York) -- for their workplace practices that promote employee health and well-being and enhance organizational performance. These companies were presented with the 2007 National Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award (PHWA) at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on March 3.

You may view the Multimedia News Release on the PR Newswire Web site.

Combined, these six organizations report an average turnover rate of just 14 percent that trounces the national average of 40 percent as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, surveys completed by the winning organizations show that only 19 percent of employees report high levels of work stress compared to 33 percent nationally.(1)

PHWA Graph

"The cost of stress to employers is huge," says Russ Newman, PhD, JD, APA executive director for professional practice. "Employers spend an estimated 300 billion dollars a year on stress-related absenteeism, turnover, lowered productivity, and direct medical, legal and insurance costs."(2)

Winners also report cost savings from their workplace practices, such as a 6.7 percent reduction in health care costs for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and a 61 percent reduction in worker's compensation claims since 2004 for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. YAI/NIPD's workplace practices have allowed the agency to negotiate low premiums with health plans, and costs associated with on-the-job injuries have dropped by $500,000 over the past five years.

National PHWA winners are often the employer of choice in their communities. Healthwise receives 125 to 150 applications for every job opening, giving the company an advantage in selecting the very best employees from a large pool of talent. Eighty-four percent or more of Koinonia employees say the company provides opportunities to learn new skills, gives constructive performance feedback, and encourages teamwork and employee participation in goal setting. And when it comes to job satisfaction, El Nuevo Dia boasts an overall employee satisfaction rate of almost 90 percent.

"The link between employee health and well-being and organizational performance is clear," says Newman. "Employers who embrace that connection are better able to develop a high-performing workforce that serves as a competitive advantage in the marketplace."

Psychologically healthy workplace practices fall into five categories: employee involvement; health and safety; employee growth and development; work-life balance; and employee recognition. Employee participation in decision making, skills training and leadership development, flexible work arrangements, and programs promoting healthy lifestyle and behavior choices are just a few of the qualities that define a psychologically healthy workplace.

In addition to the National PHWA winners, ten organizations received Best Practices Honors for an innovative program or policy that contributes to a psychologically healthy work environment. The honorees are Community School (Virginia), DuBois Regional Medical Center (Pennsylvania), El Nuevo Dia (Puerto Rico), the Good Samaritan Hospital of Maryland (Maryland), the Houston Texans NFL Franchise (Texas), the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (Nevada), Next Level Cafe (Minnesota), OMNI Youth Services (Illinois), Stratix Corporation (Georgia), and Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (Hawaii).

National PHWA

The Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award program has both state- and national-level components. APA's National PHWA is designed to showcase the very best from among the award winners recognized by APA's affiliated state, provincial and territorial psychological associations. Nominees are selected from a pool of previous state-level winners and evaluated on their workplace programs and policies in the areas of employee involvement, health and safety, employee growth and development, work-life balance and employee recognition. Awards are given to for-profit and not-for-profit organizations as well as government, military and educational institutions.

Best Practices Honors

The Best Practices Honors is a national recognition that highlights those state-level winners with a particularly innovative program or policy that contributes to a psychologically healthy work environment and meets the unique needs of the organization and its employees. As with the national award, nominees come from a pool of previous state-level winners and are selected through a competitive evaluation and judging process.

More information about the National PHWA winners and Best Practices honorees is available in the Press Room. Organizations interested in learning more about creating a psychologically healthy workplace or applying for an award in their state, province or territory can visit the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program Web site.

The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 145,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.

  1. American Psychological Association National Survey 2005.

  2. American Institute of Stress

Video: The Multimedia News Release from the PR Newswire Web site.
SOURCE: American Psychological Association

Web site: The Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program