Workplaces that are psychologically safe are deemed to be free from harassment, discrimination, bullying, verbal abuse, unfairness, disrespect, and violence. Workplace wellness should include policies and programs that ensure both the physical as well as the mental health of an organization’s employees.
Research has shown that workplaces that take a proactive approach to psychological health and safety are better able to retain employees and maintain their productivity and creativity. This is because, when people feel welcome and safe from harassment and discrimination, they are more motivated to perform. Absenteeism and performance problems decrease while productivity, morale, and employee retention increase. Intercultural Competence development offers a strategy and tool to communicate appropriately across cultural differences and similarities. This can help prevent intercultural misunderstandings and conflicts and other environmental factors that may undermine workplace wellness. According to Mercer, Canadian companies lose an estimated $16.6 billion in productivity per year due to workers calling in sick. The proactive and preventative investment in Intercultural Competence development is small when compared to the cost for organizations of absenteeism or presenteeism due to mental health issues.