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Psychological WPA: The administration is on the right course

Progress has been made in improving the psychological work environment. This is the overall conclusion of the WPA report for the administration, which shows increased levels of employee well-being. A local follow-up process will now begin in order to address the aspects of the work environment that still need to be improved.

2016.05.20 | Mette Helm

Eighty-two per cent of administrative employees participated in the survey on the psychological work environment at Aarhus University. Photo: Colourbox.

More administrative employees feel comfortable at work, and the proportion of administrative employees with severe stress symptoms has been reduced by 50 per cent since 2012. However, there is still a need to work with employee well-being and workloads. These are some of the main conclusions of the reports on the WPA questionnaire survey, which have just been published. Eighty-two per cent of administrative employees participated in the survey. Read the reports

“I'm pleased that so many have contributed. Because managers and employees alike have a shared responsibility to continually assess and improve the work environment. I’m also pleased that this WPA survey shows that there has been progress in the psychological work environment, because committed, motivated employees are our most important resource. For this reason, we must continue to work with the areas where there is room for improvement,” states University Director Arnold Boon.

However, he notes that despite improvements, the number of employees who often feel worn out is still too high, and that employees still do not receive sufficient recognition for their work. The report also indicates that it is necessary for the university’s employees to work on how they speak to and about one another, as almost one in ten employees responded that they have experienced repeated incidents of abusive, offensive or derogatory speech.

The process of addressing the challenges that exist in the psychological work environment will now begin at the local level. On the background of the university’s overall WPA results, the Main Liaison Committee and the Main Occupational Health and Safety Committee have defined four university-wide work environment themes that will be addressed in the context of local follow-up processes at the entire university. The themes are:

  • Stress prevention
  • Good leadership in the daily work life
  • Recognition from colleagues and managers
  • Constructive communication

Read more about the WPA follow-up

Union representatives: cooperation with the management has improved

Anders Moestrup and Helle Colding, the joint union representatives for the administration, are pleased that the WPA survey shows that there have been improvements in the psychological work environment across the administration.

“The report shows that the psychological work environment has improved since 2012. Among other factors, this is due to the fact that we have experienced a more responsive and attentive management which has a better dialogue and better cooperation with the university’s employees. This is definitely positive, and we must continue to build on this as we commence the process of working with the parameters that are pushing our work environment in the wrong direction. There are still considerable challenges with regard to stress and workload,” says Anders Moestrup.

As a members of the Main Liaison Committee, he and Helle Colding participated in the definition of the focus areas that will be addressed in the local follow-up processes.

“With the focus areas that the management and employees have selected together, we have committed ourselves and each other to doing something about the problems revealed by the WPA. Here, I’m thinking in particular that 44 per cent feel that they do not receive recognition in their daily work, and that 22 per cent feel worn out. And it’s also very serious that eight per cent have experienced abusive, offensive or derogatory speech,” says Helle Colding.

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