Healthy workplace: Positive atmosphere

July 06, 2012

The Florida Psychological Association (FPA) named Saint Leo University the 2012 recipient of the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award.

The program, supported by the American Psychological Association, was created to recognize organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to programs and policies that foster employee health and well-being, as well as organizational performance.

"In this time of high job stress and increasing demands on employees, these exemplary organizations have made it a priority to create work environments that are sensitive to the health and well-being of their workers," says Diane A. McKay, Psy.D., FPA president. "By recognizing these organizations for their outstanding efforts, we hope others will take notice and implement similar programs."

Management psychologist Jim Atsaides, Ph.D., added, "Saint Leo University is a great example of an organization that promotes good psychological health for all employees, which in turn positively impacts the over 16,000 students enrolled in seven different states. The senior administrative staff needs to be congratulated for their efforts to build a workplace community that is rich in mission, values, employee well-being, and mutual respect. There were many examples of how the organization values employees, provides a supportive and safe work environment, encourages positive coworker relationships, and motivates people to do their best. We found it to be a 'best kept secret' of educational institutions."

The benefits of a psychologically healthy workplace can include increased productivity, lower absenteeism and turnover, recruitment advantages, and a reduction in healthcare costs, as well as workers who are less stressed and more satisfied with their jobs.

Award applicants were evaluated on their workplace practices in the following areas: employee involvement; health and safety; employee growth and development; work-life balance; and employee recognition. Those organizations with a comprehensive set of workplace practices that foster employee health and well-being while enhancing organizational performance were selected for recognition.

Representatives from Saint Leo University accepted the award at a luncheon during the Florida Psychological Association's convention, held at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg, FL in late June.

The Florida Psychological Association is the state affiliate of the American Psychological Association. The state organization has more than 1,500 members, and is the largest professional organization for psychologists in the state of Florida. Its website is: