Is managing psychosocial risks a burden or investment for your organisation?

Blake Redding, Associate Director - MAPIEN

From April 2023, Queensland’s codes of practice for managing psychosocial risks (The Code) clarified how organisations can fulfil their legal obligation to eliminate or reduce the harmful impacts of stress arising from psychosocial hazards such as:

  •           Job demand
  •           Low role clarity
  •           Poor change management
  •           Low reward / recognition
  •           Remote or isolated work
  •           Poor environmental conditions
  •           Traumatic events
  •           Violence, aggression, bullying, and harassment

Navigating through these comprehensive guidelines and the repercussions of non-compliance, which include substantial fines ranging from $50,000 to $10M, may seem daunting. However, initiating the process with an individualised maturity assessment could provide the most accurate insights into your organisation's alignment with the Code's requirements.

However, a powerful question to start with is:

“Are there accurate and reliable processes in place that enable the documentation of effective psychosocial risk management in consultation with your people?”

If the answer is no or unsure, there will be costs to implement required changes to adapt your organisation’s psychological health and safety practices.  If this is you, the next most important question is:

“Will making the required changes be a burden or an investment for your organisation?”

If these changes are perceived as a burden, this reflects a tendency to treat the required change more like an insurance policy, to ensure things are in place, if or when, something goes wrong.  This defensive stance causes organisations to:

  • Prioritise bare minimum compliance.
  • Reduce costs to comply as much as possible.
  • Question whether anything done is worth doing at all.

If these changes are perceived to be an investment, an organisation’s focus goes beyond avoiding fines and moves toward:

  • Pursuing genuine benefits of a mentally healthy workplace for their business.
  • Prioritising actions that will improve how your organisation functions.
  • Continuously improving systems, processes, and job design to reduce the severity of workplace stress.

An investment approach is critical to enabling an organisation to realise tremendous psychological health, reputational, and financial benefits by working with The Code. 

If you would like to undertake a Psychological Health & Safety Maturity assessment to understand how to invest wisely into psychological health and safety or receive a free copy of our Myth Busting Psychosocial Hazard Management paper unpacking the 14 most common barriers we experience that get in the way of aligning with The Code, please reach out to

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