Psychological Health and Safety Program - Evaluation and Continuous Improvement

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Why should control measures be evaluated?

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After psychosocial control measures have been implemented and enough time has been given for environmental and behavioural changes to take place, it is important to conduct the assessments again to help determine whether the actions achieved the intended outcomes. It is recommended to plan the review strategy before implementing any actions so that data necessary for evaluation is collected every step of the way.

How can control measures be evaluated?

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What to evaluate depends on the intended outcome of the initiative. For example, if a goal is to have everyone participating in the initiative, then one measurement would be the amount of staff participation.

Other goals may include:

  • Specific behaviour changes such as more civility, respect, openness, trust, or less stigma
  • Specific organizational changes such as management practices, priorities, and values that may contribute to employee well-being
  • Actions being executed according to the initiative’s implementation plan
  • Increased awareness of resources or policies
  • Increased overall satisfaction and well-being at work
  • Reduced staff absenteeism
  • Reduced number of complaints and conflicts

The types of data and information to be collected depend on what elements need to be measured. Many data collection methods overlap with assessment methods   . Often the same methods used during the assessment are used again to evaluate whether there has been improvement. The benefit of using the same methods is that any changes captured by the evaluation is more likely to reflect actual change instead of potential differences between data collection methods.

When analyzing the gathered data, it is also valuable to ask whether there are other factors that contributed to or prevented a positive outcome, and whether the initiatives resulted in any unintentional or unexpected changes.

When and how often should the initiatives be evaluated?

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When to collect and analyze the data depends on what is being evaluated. Generally, there are two types: process and outcome evaluations.

Process evaluations focus on whether the initiative is going according to plan. Items measured can include the number of people that are aware of the initiative or whether the implementation process is consistent with the plan.

Data collection and analysis for process evaluations should generally take place not long after the initiative is implemented and should happen more than once so the strategy can be adjusted based on evaluation results. Process evaluations help to ensure that implementation and uptake of the initiative are on track. For example, if it is discovered that not many staff members know about the initiative, then modify communications to increase awareness.

Outcome evaluations focus on whether the goals for changing workplace culture and improving workplace mental health experiences have been achieved. Items measured can include changes in behaviour and perception, the number of complaints and conflicts, and staff absences.

The data collection and analysis for outcome evaluations should not take place until enough time has been given for the initiative’s effects to take place. This period could be every half a year or a year after implementation. The results of outcome evaluations can help determine  next steps.

What should be done after evaluation?

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It is important to present the evaluation results to everyone from staff to senior leadership and gather feedback on what went well and what could be done differently. And don’t forget to celebrate the successes, no matter the size of the impact they had on the organization.

Sharing and celebrating helps everyone in the workplace feel more connected to the improvement process and encourages continued participation and investment in activities to improve psychological health and safety.

The feedback and evaluation results together will help determine whether to:

  • adjust the strategy to improve the initiative,
  • discontinue the initiative and try something else, or
  • maintain the initiative in its current state and begin additional strategies to make improvements in other psychosocial areas.
Make sure to consider how changes to the initial strategy might affect everyone in the workplace. It is also important to consistently communicate any adjustments to the strategy along the way.

Why is it important to have patience and be consistent?

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Do not be disheartened if the initial evaluation results do not show strong improvement. Change takes time and continual effort. Conducting assessments at regular intervals that are appropriate for the organization can also catch early indicators of new psychosocial hazards. This continuous improvement process helps to maintain the psychological health and safety in the organization.

The process to protect psychological health and safety and promote workplace psychological well-being is a journey that requires time, patience, and a continuous improvement approach. Persisting and persevering through the ups and downs of this process can help to integrate psychologically healthy processes and habits into the culture of the workplace.

  • Fact sheet first published: 2022-05-19
  • Fact sheet last revised: 2022-05-19