Drawing on relational-cultural theory, organizational justice, and therapeutic jurisprudence, the New Workplace Institute suggests asking these eight questions to determine whether or not a workplace is psychologically healthy, productive, and socially responsible toward its own workers:
- Is there a sense of zest, “buzz,” and opportunity in the workplace?
- Do employees feel they are valued and treated with respect and dignity?
- Is the organizational culture friendly, inclusive, and supportive?
- Is organizational decision making fair, transparent, and evenhanded?
- Are diversities of all types welcomed and accepted?
- Does the organization face tough questions concerning employee relations?
- Are allegations of mistreatment of employees handled fairly and honestly, even when the alleged wrongdoers are in positions of power?
- Are compensation and reward systems fair and transparent?
For more about relational-cultural theory and practice, go to the website of the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at Wellesley College. In addition, Christina Robb, This Changes Everything: The Relational Revolution in Psychology (2006) tells the fascinating story behind the development of relational psychological theory.
The eight questions posed here are slightly revised from “What’s a Psychologically Healthy Workplace?,” which appeared in January.