“Técnico is a community, and as such it is concerned with the conditions of all those who are part of it, regardless of the difficult situation we are facing right now”, said the Técnico president, during the session held this Wednesday, April 28. With the primary goal of presenting the results of the Psychosocial Risks Assessment (PRA) and the adoption of preventive measures, this session also marked the National Day for Safety at Health at Work 2021 and brought together more than a hundred members of Técnico community.
The Técnico president highlighted “this assessment will help us to understand what might be improved”. “Looking at the School as a community and doing everything possible to guarantee the well-being of all is a constant preoccupation of IST Board Members. Our efficiency and strength relies on the well-being of all”, he added.
The assessment results were presented by the coordinator of the Commission for Psychosocial Risk Assessment (CARP-T), Dr Isabel Gonçalves, who highlighted the high survey response rate (68%), “which shows, by itself, the people’s availability, trust and willingness to make themselves heard”.
The coordinator of CARP-T presented the moderate risk factors and shared that the severe risk factors are related to: cognitive demand, workload and work pace, justice and respect, social support from one’s superior and emotional demand.
In view of these results, the CARP-T proposed a series of measures, which include: the dissemination of the assessment results; the creation of a website dedicated to employee well-being; a collaboration protocol between Técnico and an external team to intervene at secondary and tertiary level prevention; the optimisation of internal communication channels; the development of a code of conduct; the preparation of a manual of procedures for psychological emergencies; the recruitment of a work and organisational psychologist; Coaching and Mentoring for leaders and/or employees; and also training programmes for employees and leaders.
According to Dr Isabel Gonçalves “the most worrying results” show some mental fatigue – “50% of employees say they are depressed, 64% reveal sleep problems, and 74% are experiencing burnout”. “On the more positive side, the survey results show that employees are ready to take up the cudgels and feel that Técnico provides them with opportunities for professional growth”.
Towards a safer and healthier work environment
The vice-president of Técnico for Administrative Management, professor Helena Geirinhas, praised the work developed by CARP-T, “the work carried out by CARP-T is reliable, very relevant and innovative”.
“One of the main actions of IST Governing Board (CG) was the regulation on Work Health and Safety (WHS) by the WHS Regulator of technical and administrative staff”, dais professor Helena Geirinhas, who also highlighted the creation of the Training and Development Office (NFD).
A collaboration protocol with the Faculty of Psychology, Universidade de Lisboa (FPUL) is being developed, which will allow “to intervene at secondary and tertiary level prevention in some Técnico services”, the professor explained. “In the very short term we will certainly establish a series of rules and principles that might be called ‘cultura do Técnico’”.
According to professor Helena Geirinhas, this action programme on psychological risks will be based on dialogue and “will involve the participation and committment of Técnico employees”.
Professor Telmo Baptista: “When employers are concerned with their employees well-being, they are going in the right way”
“When employers are concerned with their employees well-being, they are going in the right way”, said professor Telmo Baptista, Dean of FPUL.
According to professor Telmo Baptista, the high survey response rate is unsual and “provides more accurate conclusions”. The professor pointed out “some diferentiated initiatives can take place, according to people or service needs. The FPUL is available to collaborate with Técnico in the development of more specific action plans”.
Professor Luís Castro presented the regulation on Work, Health and Safety approved by the CG, and Dr Rui Mendes, Human Resources Director, highlighted the important role of training, development and assessment of Técnico employees and how they are prioritised.
“Técnico cares about its employees’ well-being”, said the IST Administrator, Dr Nuno Pedroso. “This is a work in progress and should involve all members of Técnico community”.