How to reduce psychosocial risks?


Psychosocial risks (PSR) are at the heart of discussions in organizations, both in HR departments and among managers. Because the consequences of RPS can be disastrous for employees (illness, violence, etc.) and for the performance of the company (demotivation, absenteeism, etc.). Our expert gives you the keys to reducing psychosocial risks.

  • Quality local organization and management
  • A match between employee expectations and skills
  • Good understanding between peers
  • Quality of life at work
  • Importance of prevention
  • Prevent physical health problems
  • Establish a prevention plan

Quality local organization and management

Reducing RPS requires above all the quality of work organization , Isabelle Drouet de La Thibauderie , manager of HR offerings and expertise at Cegos, is convinced of this. “A work organization that offers resources and means consistent with the challenges and objectives targeted as well as quality local management attentive to “weak signals” are the key to reducing RPS, explains our expert.

Local management is on the front line, continues Isabelle Drouet of La Thibauderie. Its role is to identify manifestations of stress in order to act effectively and alert them in advance. Being close to his colleagues, he is the one they turn to when they are in difficulty. It is management's quality of listening and its ability to support its teams to find relevant solutions that contribute to reducing RPS. Local management acts to prevent risks from dysfunctions, which may require a certain courage . »

To carry out these missions, the manager must be attentive to his own quality of life at work and to the signals of stress concerning him.

A match between employee expectations and skills

The evolving economic context and digitalization impact work in the way it is done. New professions emerge, disappear or are transformed, which can also be a source of stress for employees. The development of their skills and employability also contributes to reducing RPS.

Good understanding between peers

The quality of the work environment, good understanding with colleagues, is also fundamental for psychological support. “Peers represent a first level of support in the event of difficulty encountered at work. Colleagues can listen, support and help the person find solutions and avoid isolation,” continues our expert. This is even more true in the increased context of hybridization of work since the Covid crisis.

Quality of life at work

Well-being at work means feeling part of an organization and its values, but also doing meaningful work and contributing to the results of a collective. “  If I don’t understand the role I play in a larger cog, it can lead to less commitment and ultimately lead to PSR  ,” adds Isabelle Drouet of La Thibauderie.

Importance of prevention

The employer must protect the health of his employees, and he is legally responsible in the event of failure to protect them.

We thus understand how prevention plays a major role within organizations and makes it possible to act against PSR at several levels:

  • Tertiary prevention consists of acting directly on an existing problem and repairing or reducing the effects of RPS.
  • Secondary prevention aims to implement actions to help employees better cope with PSR.
  • Primary prevention aims to anticipate risks to avoid the emergence of RPS. It acts at the source of the problem.

 “Harassment, for example, illustrates the importance of prevention. Moral harassment, sexual harassment and sexist behavior representatives have been appointed in organizations to prevent risks and deal with them when they arise. The training on sexual harassment and sexist behavior is one of the best-sellers of Cegos HR training,” observes Isabelle Drouet of La Thibauderie.

Prevent physical health problems

“  When we talk about RPS, we think of the effects of stress and therefore mental health, but there are also all the problems linked to physical health , such as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) which greatly affect shift work. To prevent MSDs, we use the permutation of workstations, the versatility of workstations, the layout of workstations and postures, notably with ergonomists,” explains Isabelle Drouet of La Thibauderie. The risks associated with working in a toxic, dangerous and noisy environment are still relevant today. Specific safety training and appropriate equipment are provided in order to reduce risks.

Establish a prevention plan

This prevention plan is based on an approach that involves and mobilizes all stakeholders: Management, elected officials in charge of the CSSCT.

Each company can carry out an assessment of RPS factors which allows a diagnosis to be made. This diagnosis makes it possible to develop an action plan and communicate it . Finally, it monitors and evaluates the actions implemented in order to judge their effectiveness and the possible need to adjust them. This is a process of continuous improvement.