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USC named as Healthy Workplace for third time

USC again has been designated a “Psychologically Healthy Workplace” by the California Psychological Association.

The university’s Center for Work and Family Life (CWFL) coordinated the award application as it did in 2006 and 2008, when USC also was selected for the honor.

John Gaspari, executive director of the CWFL, said this year’s contest is the first USC has entered since winning in 2008.

“We wanted to check ourselves, to make sure we were continuing to devote resources and attention to people’s well-being,” he explained.

But now, having won the designation every time it has applied, Gaspari said the results are satisfying.

After a competitive evaluation and selection process, top workplaces were selected for recognition on the basis of employee involvement, work-life balance, employee growth and development, health and safety, and employee recognition.

Award-winning workplaces, according to the American Psychological Association, illustrate the variety of ways that organizations of all types can care for their employees while at the same time enhancing their bottom-line performance.

“Many workplaces have wellness programs that focus only on physical health,” Gaspari said. “But what matters more in workplace, in terms of building a climate of productivity and collaboration, is social and psychological health. People do better and feel better when they feel safe and supported and when there are resources to provide that support.”

At USC, the CWFL itself is one of those resources. The center is dedicated to helping employees maintain balance between their personal and professional lives, offering confidential counseling, coaching and consultation to all active and retired USC employees and their dependent family members.

“An objective review of our programs is a validation, on every level, that we’re on the right track,” he noted. “For all its complexity, for all its diversity, for all its decentralization, the fact is that our university is ‘in-sourcing’ its compassion. It is not just about performance and productivity – it’s about the quality of what we provide for our employees.”

USC will be awarded the formal designation on April 21 during the California Psychological Association’s annual meeting in Monterey, Calif.

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