Six U.S. Organizations Receive National Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards, Ten Honored for Best Practices
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.
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.
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.
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 workers compensation claims since 2004 for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. YAI/NIPDs 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.