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The top five ways change managers can reduce psychosocial risk and support their workplace

New legislation is a hot topic for many in safety, OD, HR and hopefully, for Change Practitioners. Reducing impact and creating better quality change is hopefully a common goal for Change Practitioners and this new legislation is in full support of that goal (although we have met the odd one or two Change folks who are convinced this won't apply to them since they only do 'good change' and this legislation covers 'poor change' - eek!).

So how can Practitioners (those who are obligated, and those who aren't but want to) support their workplace and adapt their work to enable a reduction in psychosocial risk?

We've gather the top five ways change managers can reduce psychosocial risk and support their workplace, through our own day to day practice with real life Australian clients.

1.Understand impact is broader than you think right now

A drop of water breaks the surface creating ripples

Change is not only a potential source of hazard but can interact and combine with other hazards. As you design your own interventions and engagements to address your change, are you introducing new risk for the organisation?

We've developed a more holistic Psychosocial Change Impact Assessment to help practitioners look more broadly than just the traditional change impacts and consider other common hazards that are likely to emerge during change processes. It's helping us work with our clients and help our change coaching friends to help them get better outcomes too!

Want access to this new type of Change Impact Assessment? Ask us how here.

2. Use your consultation know-how

Small group sitting together for a consultation session

A core part of the legislation is the requirement to consult and engage with employees at many points. Change Practitioners (especially those of us in the Human Centred space) are great at bringing people into the process and ensuring that are consulted in a meaningful way.

Your expertise and knowledge in this area can help the business meet their obligations, and make it truly meaningful consultation.

3. Grow your language and documentation to become WHS friendly

The language of psychosocial safety is that of the workplace health and safety world including risks, hazards, assessments, controls etc. While Timbs and Co are WHS trained, it's not essential for every Change Practitioner to do this. Knowing how the language and structure of risk and controls work is helpful for two things:

  • demonstrating the credibility of your own action and intervention planning and assessment

  • ensuring you actually reduce the risk when you assess and then act on your plans!

Oh and it makes you a lot more credible in conversations with experts in this area too - more on that in another article.

4. Build a foundation of knowledge in your change leadership community

Whether you are bound by the legislation or not, creating a safer space for the mental and physical health of employees has financial, productivity and retention benefits, and improves change adoption. Timbs and Co have been delivering fundamental Psychosocial Safety Knowledge and Skills in our clients businesses to improve both our change outcomes, and to reduce the likelihood of psychosocial risk.

These are leadership skills, change capability knowledge and self-awareness tools that increase everyone's ability to adopt and support change. This is reducing risk in areas beyond change, but using change as an important moment for intervention and momentum.

Not sure what that capability uplift might look like? We can help you through our ready-made programs or we can tailor make and train you to deliver for your own business.

5. Partner with HR and WHS

Creating effective relationships with those most closely in touch with the legislation, and most likely able to provide you with the organisationally-driven tools and plans for managing risk is a great way to support and enable the organisational approach. Timbs and Co is working with HR and WHS leaders across a variety of clients and they are taking different approaches to how they manage the risk, and how they understand their psychosocial climate and there is a lot to learn from these specialists.

There's far more than five ways change managers can reduce psychosocial risk to support their workplace in managing obligations and keeping leaders and teams safe.

Psychosocial Hazard legislation offers the opportunity for Change Practitioners to support organisations in a whole new way, with changes to language, increased change capability, consultation know-how and an improved impact assessment process.

We're working closely with our clients on the real world application of our Psychosocial Change approach, so keep up to date with our findings here and in our "What's Changing?" newsletter, and our LinkedIn platform.

Interested in organising change training for your workplace, or want to join a waitlist for a public course?

See our training and learning opportunities.

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