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Dr. David Ballard: March 2010 Archives

Couldn't make it to our Psychologically Healthy Workplace Conference in Washington, DC earlier this month? In the coming months, we'll be bringing you highlights, select content and other assorted goodies here on the Good Company Blog, as well as in our e-newsletter and podcast.

Also, be sure to connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for additional updates and special content.

Below, you'll find the first release from the conference -- a session on communication strategies for promoting and supporting workplace wellness that was presented by Fran Melmed, owner of context communication consulting, and Michelle James, health communication manager for Intel.

The program explores what it takes to create a culture of wellness in the workplace. Topics include what makes a message connect, how we can support individual behavior change on a mass scale, where the fun is and why we should embrace a powerful new communication tool: social media. Check it out...

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Our 2010 Psychologically Healthy Workplace Conference covered a range of topics including workplace heath promotion, wellness communication, employee recognition, work-life issues, engagement, work stress, diversity issues and more.

Thanks to our attendees, presenters and cooperating organizations for making the event a success.

It was wonderful to see some old friends, meet online connections in person and spark new relationships that are sure to produce some exciting collaborations in the future.

Stay tuned to this blog, as well as the April issue of our Good Company E-Newsletter for coverage of the conference.

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Creating a psychologically healthy workplace takes a firm commitment even in the best of times, and as the recession hit full swing, many organizations (even healthy ones) had to make some difficult decisions. In a 2009 survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 68 percent of employed Americans reported that their employers had taken steps such as putting a freeze on hiring or wages, laying off staff, reducing work hours, benefits or pay, requiring unpaid days off or increasing work hours as a result of the weak economy.

Yet while the damage mounted, reports surfaced of surprisingly high employee satisfaction and engagement. Did these accounts represent a workforce committed to helping their employers through tough times, or were employees simply hunkering down, counting themselves fortunate to still have jobs and afraid to make waves? Only time will tell, but whatever dynamic is at play in your organization likely has a lot to do with how employees feel they were treated when the chips were down.

Employers who understand the link between employee well-being and organizational performance strived to maintain a work environment characterized by openness, fairness, trust and respect, even when difficult actions were required. These employers are positioned for success in the economic recovery and will have a distinct competitive advantage in their ability to attract and retain the very best employees.

To highlight those organizations committed to creating a culture of health and productivity, the American Psychological Association just presented its 2010 Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards (PHWA) and Best Practices Honors.

The five PHWA winners described here have implemented a comprehensive set of workplace practices designed to optimize outcomes for both employees and the organization. The ten Best Practices honorees, that you can read about here, highlight a variety of approaches that effectively meet the unique needs of an organization and its workforce.

We congratulate our winners and hope that their examples help showcase the power that a healthy workplace has to drive positive change and help individuals, organizations and communities thrive.