The backbone of any business is its workforce. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 60% of the world’s population is employed. All these workers have the right to a safe and healthy work environment. A sense of confidence, a purpose to fulfill, and admiration for any accomplishment are essential in any workforce because they motivate people to give more.If not provided, one may experience mental health issues, which is a common occurrence in many organizations. However, workplace mental health conditions can be avoided by managing psychosocial risks. Dr. Allessandria Polizzi, an impeccable industry specialist, has founded Verdant Consulting LLC to bring reformation to the traditional workplace. Through science-backed solutions aligned with global standards, she is building resilient, psychologically healthy, and safe organizations. With a motto, “programs to Help Your Hive Thrive,” the company is transforming the workplace to make it better for humans.
Allessandria’s primary focus is on raising awareness of the fundamental needs of organizations to proactively address risks to the mental health of employees. She speaks on average 2-3 times a week to various organizations, groups, and companies. Her other focus is on supporting its affiliates and helping them make an impact in their parts of the world. She previously held the position of Chief People Officer, where she experienced burnout. During her recovery in 2021, she left that role to concentrate on assisting businesses with resiliency, burnout prevention, and psychological safety. She was dissatisfied with what was available in the marketplace and was concerned that the issue was only going to worsen. So, she decided to create the solutions she wished she had. Verdant offers programs designed around neuroscience, cognitive behavior theory, and the ISO 45003 standards by training practical, simple skills that help teams flourish. She also co-founded the Kite HR wellbeing app for HR teams and contributes to the Be Verdant podcast, which features findings on all of these subjects.
We Humans Matter
Allessandria was motivated to start the business because she was constantly pushing herself to the point of exhaustion. With a perfectionist mentality, she was striving to be someone she was not. She discovered from her study that common mental health risks, such as loneliness and the pressure to always be on, affect leaders of both genders equally. She regrets not learning about these perils early in her career, as it would have helped to avoid a great deal of internal conflict.
Allessandria and her team believe that most workplaces lack various aspects which are hampering people from achieving their desired goals. She notes that statistics show that while 70% of teams are reluctant to stand up, 70% of managers are considered to be poor leaders. This supports the conclusion that operating in such a setting has a significant impact on growth. Allessandria is trying to solve this issue by focusing on the foundation of what drives business outcomes: humans. The consultancy assists organizations in proactively addressing the workplace’s mental health to create a psychologically healthy and safe environment. That will eventually positively transform shareholder outcomes.
She goes on to say that the consultancy was founded in collaboration with those who want to be a part of this movement. Its 60+ affiliates around the globe are offered the tools and resources to implement its programs, which enables them to help their community, improve the world of work, and grow their independent businesses.
"With a motto, "programs to Help Your Hive Thrive," the company is transforming the workplace to make it better for humans"
Changing the Norms
It’s not personal; it’s just business, a well-known adage that can be seen being used in workspaces, is something Allessandria strongly objects to. She claims that humanity is the only thing that matters, regardless of the space we occupy. Recent data shows that managers in every work environment have a greater impact on employees’ mental health than therapists or doctors. “In fact, at 79%, managers have the same influence on our mental health as our significant others. Not sure what’s more personal than that,” says Allessandria. The other bit of advice she offers is to get rid of the idea that we can control anyone but ourselves. One can learn about oneself and discover how one responds under pressure. “We can choose whether or not to take action on those things,” she adds. “If our focus is on controlling those feelings through self-criticism or suppression, we put ourselves at risk.“
According to a proverb, failure is the gateway to achievement. Allessandria claims that she fails every day at something. Being a perfectionist, she had to taste the bitter taste of failure at various turns of her journey. She convinces herself that her efforts are the best possible and sufficient for the day in order to overcome such difficulties. She founded her company on the premise that individuals are good at heart and want to do their best. “To be honest, this hasn’t always worked out well for me. However, I would rather believe in all people than live in a world that is counter to that belief,” she adds. Moreover, lifting other people around her gives her the motivation to pursue her goals. She quickly establishes a link with people who share her objectives. She believes that developing together is the best way to progress toward a better future.
Next in Line
Allessandria has devoted maximum time to working with HR teams over the last 18 months. She understood that the HR department is an overlooked department. She states that the lack of investment and support within some organizations is borderline abusive. “When 98% of HR is burned out and 95% believe it’s too much work, but 76% of the C-suite believes the work is manageable, we have a problem,” she asserts.
Currently, Verdant consultancy is in the process of rolling out its ‘Psychologically Safe Workplace certification’. This certifies that companies have met the global guidelines of the WHO, ISO, ILO, and other agencies. Allessandria wants to live in a world where employees and customers can know that organizations address psychological safety the same way they do physical safety. “It’s time for companies to ensure they do not harm the humans they employ,” says Allessandria.