Dakota County has received national recognition for its positive workplace environment.
The County is among 23 employers that earned the 2018 Psychologically Healthy Workplace Honors from the American Psychological Association and one of only two governmental agencies recognized. Recipients also included nonprofit and for-profit organizations. The recognition is given to organizations across the United States and Canada that have implemented workplace practices that psychological research has shown promote employee well-being and positive organizational outcomes.
"The employers receiving this honor have demonstrated a commitment to programs and policies that take people and performance into consideration," said Dr. David W. Ballard, head of the American Psychological Association's Center for Organizational Excellence, which oversees the program. "The leaders of these organizations know that building a positive and successful workplace takes both well-designed practices based on good evidence and a supportive environment. The range of sizes and diversity of industries recognized show that any workplace has the potential to be a psychologically healthy one."
The award criteria and evaluation are based on extensive research that psychologists have found help people stay healthy and perform their best on the job. Following a multi-step application process, applicants are evaluated on their efforts in the five categories that comprise a psychologically healthy workplace: employee involvement, health and safety, employee growth and development, work-life balance and employee recognition. Employee participation in decision-making, skills training and leadership development, flexible work arrangements, and programs promoting healthy lifestyle and behavior choices are just a few of the practices that are found in workplaces receiving the honor.
The application process includes employee questionnaires and site visits by psychologists who meet with organizations' leaders and employees.
Organizations receiving the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Honors are eligible to be considered for the American Psychological Association's highest workplace recognition, the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award. Award winners will be announced in March 2019.