Karen Moore, MD & Principal Occupational Psychologist, Symbiotics
Karen Moore is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist with considerable experience of assessing individuals at all levels from graduate to board directors and in a diverse range of industries from nuclear, through utilities to banking and aviation. She is particularly concerned that personality profiling should not be seen as the route to protecting mental health, but as one indicator of the individual’s susceptibility.
Karen joined Symbiotics in 2017 as MD and Principal Occupational Psychologist, to further develop their assessment processes for high consequence industries. Symbiotics specialize in the assessment of pilots and other roles within the aviation sector.
Mental Wellbeing Challenges – Not Just An Issue on the Flight Deck
The recent changes to EASA regulations around psychological profiling focus on assessing flight crew prior to recruitment, and it is indeed important to ensure that we select the right people, initially to enter the training pipeline, then for employment by a particular airline.
However, there is a real danger that the broader issue of mental health and wellbeing for ALL employees is ignored, and there is mounting evidence that cabin crew may be under more pressure than those on the flight deck.
After investing significantly in the selection of personnel and in training, how do we ensure that we keep people performing effectively? At the end of the day, the shareholders want a strong return on investment, which means keeping people at work and doing their jobs. We will consider the methodology by which this might be achieved, and look at early results from assessment of mental health risk, in the context of the costs of getting it wrong.
Symbiotics have preliminary results comparing the risk to mental wellbeing on eight key measures between individuals selected for resilience and those who have not undergone a robust selection process. These indicate that the right selection and monitoring processes can help keep people well. We will consider two key areas – what personality traits to assess for to give the greatest resilience to the various stresses put on workers in the aviation sector; and how mental health can be effectively and economically measured to best support them with the pressure they will encounter. We will also be seeking to engage with the cabin crew population to explore these issues in the context of their specific environment.