Risques psychosociaux en milieu de travail


Understanding and preventing psychosocial risks in the workplace 

Psychosocial risks (PSRs) are a growing challenge in the modern workplace. About 30 of every 1,000 Quebec workers are absent each week because of psychological health problems.1 Heavy workloads aggravated by a lack of resources, complex interpersonal relationships and the rise of remote work are just a few of the factors that can contribute to the development of PSRs. 

It’s crucial that employers understand this phenomenon, especially its direct impact on employee productivity and the costs of absenteeism and lost productivity. 

Understanding psychosocial risks 

PSRs encompass a set of workplace factors and situations that can adversely affect employees’ mental, emotional and social health. These include stress, exhaustion, interpersonal conflict and lack of social support. PSRs aren’t just an individual problem; they are often caused by complex interactions between individuals and their work environment.  

A new reality weighing on employees 

Various factors can contribute to the emergence of PSRs. Job demands, tight deadlines and heavy workloads can lead to stress and burnout. A lack of autonomy and control over work as a result of micromanaging is also a known source of PSRs as are conflictual relationships with colleagues. 

Other factors we can’t rule out are the rise of remote work, accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the labour shortage. In this new reality, the risks to workers’ health are amplified; thus, fatigue, anxiety and isolation have become more prevalent. 

Individual and organizational consequences 

The consequences of PSRs can be detrimental to individuals and employers alike. On the individual level, employees exposed to PSRs may develop symptoms such as anxiety, depression, insomnia and chronic fatigue. These issues can affect their job performance and engagement at work. 

On the organizational level, PSRs can reduce productivity, increase absenteeism and detract from work quality. Such issues can create significant costs for an organization. The costs associated with losing an employee to disability and training a successor can be up to five times the employee’s annual salary.2 

Prevention, awareness and leadership 

PSRs represent a challenge. Employers must be proactive to prevent and manage them. The preventive approach is based on essential pillars aimed at creating a work environment conducive to mental health and productivity. Here are some ways and means:  

  • Assess PSRs: Employers can benefit from assessments to identify psychosocial risk factors in the workplace. Such assessments may involve meetings with employees and analyses of the organizational structure. 
  • Raise awareness and offer training: It’s essential to educate employees and managers about PSRs, their causes and their consequences. Training in stress management, effective communication and conflict resolution can help improve the dynamics within an organization. 
  • Promote wellness: Employers can encourage a culture of wellness by offering mental health programs and relaxation activities, as well as by promoting work-life balance. 
  • Provide support and leadership: Executives and managers play a critical role in preventing PSRs. They must listen to employees, encourage open dialogue and act quickly to resolve issues that arise. 
  • Rethink how work is organized: Reducing unreasonable workloads, providing more autonomy and fostering a collaborative environment can help reduce PSRs. 

Addressing disability  

To conclude, psychosocial risks in the workplace require sustained attention. It’s crucial that employers become aware of their impact, identify their origins and respond rapidly to instances of disability. 

At Ducore, we pledge to address your disability cases proactively. We’re also committed to preserving the mental health of your employees through our new Integrated Psychological Studies service.

You can provide your employees with immediate access to a psychiatrist with the relevant expertise, ensuring that they can return to work quickly and that you can reduce the costs of absenteeism and lost productivity.  

Ask our team at expertises@ducoreexpertise.com

  1. Mental Health Commission of Canada  
  2. World Health Organization – WHO and ILO call for new measures to tackle mental health issues at work
  3. INESS – COVID-19 and the psychological distress and mental health of staff in the health and social services network. P.7
  4. Portail de l’Assurance : Telus Santé voit des économies de couts dans la prise en charge des employés de leur santé. https://portail-assurance.ca/article/telus-sante-voit-des-economies-de-couts-dans-la-prise-en-charge-des-employes-de-leur-sante/  
  5. World Health Organization – WHO and ILO call for new measures to tackle mental health issues at work

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