The California Psychological Association recently declared USC a psychologically safe work environment after the CPA determined USC met certain standards in employee involvement, safety and growth.
The university’s Center for Work and Family Life helped coordinate the application process for the CPA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award, which the university carried out two other times, most recently in 2008.
USC will formally be awarded the honor during the CPA’s annual meeting in Monterey, Calif., on April 21.
According to Linda Snouffer, the assistant director of the Center for Work and Family Life, the goal of the center is to provide support to all USC faculty and staff in order to help them through a wide variety of work-related and personal difficulties.
“The Center for Work and Family Life is the university’s employee assistance program,” Snouffer said. “We offer supportive services for the USC faculty and staff community and their families that can last from pre-employment through retirement.”
Additionally, Snouffer said the services the Center for Work and Family Life provides are vast and include an array of different services that aim to help employees maintain their mental health.
“Our core services include confidential brief, solution focused counseling for a wide range of personal and work-related concerns; consultative support for faculty, supervisors and departments; as well as a variety of programs and services targeted at helping faculty and staff preserve a healthy work/life balance,” Snouffer said. “Our licensed mental health professionals are experienced in helping individuals, couples and families address a wide range of personal and work related difficulties.”
To receive the award, Snouffer said USC was judged on a variety of criteria, and all employees provided their input concerning the university’s workplace policies.
“As part of the application process, USC was judged on its workplace practices, and five key award criteria [including] employee involvement, health and safety, employee growth and development, [recognizing] employees both individually and collectively and helping employees balance work and life demands,” Snouffer said. “In addition, an employee questionnaire was sent to all employees to receive their input on how the university’s workplace policies and practices help promote their health and well-being.”
The university applied for the recognition to further its status as one of the top colleges in the nation, Snouffer said.
“The Center applied for the award on behalf of the entire university,” Snouffer said. “USC has received the California APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award on two previous occasions; however, since last participating in the competition four years ago, USC has been identified as one of America’s Great Colleges to Work For by The Chronicle of Higher Education.”
Rachel Brauer, a freshman majoring in philosophy, politics and law, said the recognition helps demonstrate the dedication of the university to using its resources to help its employees.
“It’s really great that USC [received] this recognition, because it shows the university’s dedication to maintaining a safe work environment,” Brauer said. “This award could be an asset to the university in the future, since many professionals could be attracted to work here because of the benefits the university offers.”