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Psychosocial Risk Factors

Psychosocial Risk Factors (PSRs) are organizational factors that impact the psychological safety and health of employees. These factors include the way work is carried out and the context in which work occurs. PSRs have the ability to affect employee mental responses to work and to cause mental health problems.

Guarding Minds @ Work identified the 12 PSRs below: 

  1. Psychological Support: a work environment where co-workers and supervisors are supportive of employees’ psychological and mental health concerns, and respond appropriately as needed
  2. Organizational Culture: a work environment characterized by trust, honesty and fairness
  3. Clear Leadership & Expectations: a work environment where there is effective leadership and support that helps employees know what they need to do, how their work contributes to the organization and whether there are impending changes
  4. Civility & Respect: a work environment where employees are respectful and considerate in their interactions with one another, as well as with customers, clients and the public
  5. Psychological Job Fit: A work environment where there is a good fit between employees’ interpersonal and emotional competencies, their job skills and the position they hold
  6. Growth & Development: a work environment where employees receive encouragement and support in the development of their interpersonal, emotional and job skills
  7. Recognition & Reward: a work environment where there is appropriate acknowledgement and appreciation of employees’ efforts in a fair and timely manner
  8. Involvement & Influence: a work environment where employees are included in discussions about how their work is done and how important decisions are made
  9. Workload Management: a work environment where tasks and responsibilities can be accomplished successfully within the time available
  10. Engagement: a work environment where employees enjoy and feel connected to their work and where they feel motivated to do their job well
  11. Balance: a work environment where there is recognition of the need for balance between the demands of work, family and personal life
  12. Psychological Protection: a work environment where employee psychological safety is ensured

  • Guarding Minds @ Work (GM@W) is a resource that assists employers in assessing the psychological health and safety of their workplace and offers practical solutions for developing mentally healthy environments. This tool was developed as a public resource to support employers in meeting upcoming legal requirements for providing a psychologically safe workplace and ultimately protect employees’ mental health. See www.guardingmindsatwork.ca.