Psychological strain among employees is an increasing concern. But a recent study sheds new light on how to mitigate these effects through workplace justice. Conducted by Marc Ohana and his team, this research delves into the impact of daily overall team justice perceptions on employees’ psychological well-being, highlighting the significant role that a fair and supportive work environment plays in reducing daily psychological strain. The findings were published in the International Journal of Psychology.
The study’s central finding is that employees’ daily perceptions of team justice, or how fair they perceive their team’s actions and decisions, directly impact their psychological strain. When employees feel that their team operates justly, their daily stress and anxiety levels are notably lower. This suggests that not only long-term policies but also everyday interactions and decisions significantly influence employee well-being.
A groundbreaking aspect of the study is its focus on psychological safety as a mediator between team justice and psychological strain. Psychological safety, defined as a sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject, or punish someone for speaking up, plays a critical role. When employees perceive their team as fair, they feel psychologically safe, which in turn reduces their daily strain. This finding underscores the importance of fostering an environment where employees feel secure and valued.
Interestingly, the study also examines the role of supervisors in this dynamic. It finds that the presence of overall supervisor justice, or fairness from supervisors, can moderate the relationship between team justice and psychological safety. In simpler terms, when supervisors are perceived as fair, the impact of team justice on psychological safety and, consequently, on psychological strain changes. This highlights the vital role supervisors play in setting the tone for fairness and safety within teams.
The implications of these findings are profound for organisational management. They emphasise the need for leaders and managers to foster a culture of fairness and psychological safety at all levels. Regular training for supervisors, open communication channels, and a supportive environment where employees can voice concerns without fear are just a few ways to achieve this.