Magazine article Workforce Management

Firms Honored for Fostering Mental Health

Magazine article Workforce Management

Firms Honored for Fostering Mental Health

Article excerpt

WORK ENVIRONMENT

Great River Health Systems names a sandwich in the cafeteria each month after an employee who performs an exceptional act. IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center gives employees tools for finding elder care. ARUP Laboratories offers workers a free on-site health clinic. These are among the practices that helped a handful of organizations win "Psychologically Healthy Workplace" awards this month.

The American Psychological Association, the award sponsor, argues that attention to matters such as worker recognition, health and safety, and work/life balance do more than just help employees' mental health. "Many employers now recognize that the key to success lies in their own workforce and understand that employee health and well-being and organizational performance are inextricably linked," Russ Newman, executive director for professional practice at the APA, said in a statement.

This is the first year the APA has given out national psychologically healthy workplace awards. Six employers won, including West Burlington, Iowa-based health care provider Great River Health Systems, computing giant IBM's research operation located just outside of New York City, and ARUP Laboratories, a clinic and laboratory based in Salt Lake City. The other three were Versant, a Milwaukee-based marketing communications firm, the Comporium Group, a Rock Hill, South Carolina-based communications services provider, and Green Chimneys School, a New York-based facility serving emotionally disturbed children.

IBM, whose Watson Research Center employs about 1,600 people in New York State, was credited for a commitment to the "whole employee" and programs such as self-managed work teams, health screenings and immunizations. "By empowering employees and treating them with dignity and trust, IBM is able to attract and retain top-quality talent," the APA says.

As a company overall, IBM has cut some U. …

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