Perception grounded in reality

All strategies have their inherent psychosocial risks (PSR)

IMG_1910Psychosocial risks (PSR) are integral to an individual’s perception of their work situation, hence the term “psychosocial”, but these risks currently have no legal or statistical status in France.

In reality, we often recognise risk through its symptoms: stress, occupational malaise, harassment, discrimination, etc.

By nature, psychosocial risks (PSR) tend to be subjective, dependent on individual perceptions. For example, stress is generally perceived as the “imbalance between a person’s perception of the pressures exerted on them by their environment and their perception of their own resources for coping with this”.

Stress is generally perceived as the “imbalance between a person’s perception of pressures and their perception of their own coping resources”.

This does not mean they cannot be assessed or measured – just as pain is assessed and measured in hospitals. Their effects are tangible: they have an impact on aspects such as physical health, well-being, productivity, and capacity to deliver on change management initiatives.

It is now universally accepted that psychosocial risks (PSR) are caused by a wide range of factors – individual as well as organizational. These factors can be grouped into four main categories in CHSCT (workplace health and safety committee) appraisals or audits of work life quality.

1. The demands of work and organisation of work:

autonomy, quality and deadline imperatives, attentiveness and focus required, contradictory directives, stress management, etc.

2. Management and working relationships:

nature and quality of relationships with colleagues and superiors, recognition, remuneration, perceived fairness or justice, etc.

3. Consideration for employees’ values and expectations:

skills development, work-life balance, ethical conflicts, work life quality, etc.

4. Changes at work:

approach to changes of any kind, change management, new technologies, job security, reorganizations, etc.