March 8, 2010

Five Organizations Receive APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award, Ten Honored for Best Practices

Washington, DC — Employers who understand the link between employee well-being and organizational performance are best positioned for success in the economic recovery, the American Psychological Association reported at its Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards ceremony this weekend. APA recognized five organizations for their comprehensive efforts to promote employee health and well-being while enhancing organizational performance.

The employers presented with the American Psychological Association’s 2010 Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award were Leaders Bank (Illinois), Advanced Solutions (British Columbia), American Cast Iron Pipe Company (Alabama), Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (Florida) and Toronto Police Service (Ontario).

These five organizations reported an average turnover rate of just 9 percent in 2009 – significantly less than the national average of 41 percent as estimated by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Surveys completed by the winning organizations show that only 30 percent of employees reported experiencing chronic work stress compared to 41 percent nationally, and 73 percent of employees reported being satisfied with their jobs, compared to only 65 percent nationally. Additionally, 67 percent of employees said they would recommend their organizations to others as a good place to work, compared to 54 percent nationally and only 12 percent said they intend to seek employment elsewhere within the next year, compared to 31 percent nationally.

“Creating a psychologically healthy workplace takes a firm commitment in the best of times.” says David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA, APA’s assistant executive director for marketing and business development. “Employers that maintain a strong commitment to employee well-being even under difficult circumstances will have a distinct competitive advantage in their ability to attract and retain the very best staff.”

“The five award winners have implemented programs and policies that reap rewards for both employee and employer alike,” adds Dr. Ballard. American Cast Iron Pipe Company reports positive health outcomes including more than 320 employees who have quit smoking, approximately 1,200 who have begun an exercise program and more than 600 who have lowered their blood pressure to within normal limits. At Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare employees have made significant strides in morale, job satisfaction and work efficiency and the company has seen major improvements in its customer relations, operating margin, turnover and productivity. At Leaders Bank, since the rollout of its wellness program, sick day utilization has decreased with employees now using an average of only 1.4 sick days per year. Voluntary turnover at Advanced Solutions dropped from 7.9 percent in 2008 to 4.1 percent in 2009 and measures of employee engagement have steadily increased. And at the Toronto Police Service, improvements in equipment and training provided to uniformed employees have led to a decline in the average number of days lost to workplace injury, keeping officers on the job and contributing to their families and communities.

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 practices that contribute to a psychologically healthy workplace.

In addition to the PHWA winners, ten organizations received Best Practices Honors for a program or policy that meets the unique needs of the organization and its workforce. The honorees are ATI Holdings (Illinois); Brookhaven Care Centre (British Columbia); College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia; Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare (Minnesota); Rovi – Ann Arbor, Data Services (Michigan); Memorial Hospital (Pennsylvania) and Northeast Delta Dental (New Hampshire). PHWA winners Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, American Cast Iron Pipe Company and Leaders Bank also received Best Practices Honors.

APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award
The Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award (PHWA) program has both local- and national-level components. APA’s PHWA spans North America and is designed to showcase the very best from among the winners recognized by APA’s affiliated state, provincial and territorial psychological associations. Nominees are selected from a pool of previous local 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 a single program or policy that contributes to a psychologically healthy work environment and meets the unique needs of the organization and its employees. As with APA’s PHWA, nominees come from a pool of previous local winners and are selected through a competitive evaluation and judging process.

More information about the PHWA winners and Best Practices honorees is available at the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program 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 website.

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 152,000 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.