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Dr. Matt Grawitch: April 2011 Archives

PHWC Reflection

I recently attended the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Conference. It was the third year of the conference, and the third year of learning so many new things and networking with terrific people. This year, I decided to summarize just a few of the things I learned while I was at the conference.

  1. Inclusivity is not just about recognizing what types of diversity exist, but what diversity is missing. Joe Gerstandt did a terrific job of highlighting this point during his presentation. It was the very first time I walked out of a presentation related to diversity and didn’t feel as though only superficial concepts of diversity were discussed.
  2. Strategic benefits communication is a critical function in contemporary organizations. Jennifer Benz discussed this issue within her session at the conference. Human resource professionals are usually experts at doing human resources work – which should not come as a surprise. However, creating awareness and increasing utilization of company benefits requires solid marketing communication skills, which many human resource professionals lack.
  3. Teledyne Brown Engineering is a terrific place to work. Teledyne received APA's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in 2009. Jennifer Geist provided an overview of some of the fantastic programs the company offers. Her talk should serve as a reminder that creating a psychologically healthy workplace requires dedication and the development of unique programs tailored to an organization’s culture, structure, and workforce.
  4. A psychologically healthy workplace is not just of interest to psychologists. Conference attendees included psychologists, wellness experts, human resource professionals, training and development professionals, and senior leaders. Creating a psychologically healthy workplace should not just be the job of psychologists, but should be the job of all key stakeholders in an organization.
  5. There are some terrific students doing some terrific research. I was most drawn to the students from Texas A&M who participated in a research team that used the psychologically healthy workplace model as the foundation for institutional improvements at their university.

I learned so much more than that, but I figured I didn’t want to monopolize the conversation. It may have been the best conference experience I’ve ever had.

If you attended the conference, what did you take away from it?