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The Psychologically Healthy Workplace 

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard
2005 Award Winner: Exemplary Practices Category 

What can't we say about the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. Boasting more awards and incentives than a professional sports team, PHNS doesn't just promote a mentally healthy work environment for its employees, it promotes a culture of safety, support, growth, and personal development. They have been chosen to receive the first "Exemplary Practices" award for an organization that shows us the "Best of the Best" in all five criteria of the Healthy Workplace Awards.

Driving for "Star Status" to exceed minimum regulatory requirements through OSHA, they implemented OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program "VPP" which involves the entire command in the effort to achieve a safety culture. This program includes an on-site Waterfront Safety Facilitator, and rewarding of safety-conscious behavior by employees, with top-down support and a "team-mate" mentality. VPP also extends to violence in the workplace, identification, control, and elimination of workplace hazards, and progressive safety goals.

The mental and emotional health of the employees is promoted on-site yoga after work, a lunchtime exercise band workout, and an Employee Assistance Program that provides not only counseling, but workshops to help employees improve the way work is done and to improve the effects of the workplace on employees' health and wellbeing, including stress management and reduction techniques and preventive strategies.

Promotion of employee excellence is perhaps a trademark of PHNS, with award, after award, after award! Besides their highly respected mentorship program, which is perhaps worthy of an award all by itself, PHNS has an Employee of the Quarter/Employee of the year award and a Shipyard Commander's VPP Recognition Award, Ho'olaulima Awards, Special Act Service Awards, Mahalo Awards, Command Coins, and nominations for higher level awards, such as the Excellence in Government Awards, sponsored by the Honolulu-Pacific Federal Executive Board.

Career Development and job-skills is a major area of emphasis at PHNSY. With the establishment of "Shipyard University" in 2003, the Command Education and Development Office (established in 2001) promotes excellence in leadership development with curricula for strategic management of human capital, and a particular focus on self-directed growth and learning in leadership and management to bridge the leadership gap and prepare a cadre of leaders to ensure PHNSY's sustainability. And as mentioned before, the Shipyard's 4 year work-study Apprentice program receives several thousand applications annually. It's the lifelong learning mentality they promote at PHNSY with Individual Leadership Development Plans to help employees chart their course.

Families are supported at PHNSY with odd shift work (more than ¼ of the employees work a non-standard shift), an active leave donor program, and facilities that promote an active lifestyle. Community involvement is also a source of pride for this program which seems to simply attract the types of people who are involved in their communities. With participation rates well beyond those of comparable companies, PHNSY has been involved with Special Olympics in Hawaii for more than 20 years, has adopted several local schools for voluntary efforts, and even has a Commanding Officer's policy on volunteering and donating time to the community through membership and activities in civic organization. As for fundraising, the Combined Federal Campaign which allows for employees to make monetary donations to local, national, and international charities and within military communities yielded an impressive $637,097 in 2004.

For all these reasons and many more too numerous to cover here, please let's recognize the Best of the Best the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.


Hawaii Psychological Association
P.O. Box 833
Honolulu, Hawaii 96808
ph: (808) 521-8995
hpaexec@gmail.com

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