Workplace Culture And Its Affect On Wellbeing

Workplace Culture

If you want a highly competitive, and profitable business the overwhelming evidence points towards the benefits for employers who invest resources in successfully managing the three components of workplace wellbeing which are, the psychological, physical, and social wellbeing of their employees. Managing psychosocial risk is greatly affected by the workplace culture, Organisations that operate a democratic styles of management appear consistently to produce lower absenteeism levels than their autocratically managed rivals.

The True Financial Cost Of Poor Workplace Culture

Trusted source information from studies by Dame Carol Black, CIPD, and Esener all demonstrate a huge potential for harvesting extra profit and a substantial financial return on investment by addressing the issue of poorly managed psychosocial risk in the workplace. By collating the information from the different models of these reputable organisations, Working for Wellbeing Ltd built their financial Meta model, which clearly demonstrates costs straight from the organisations bottom line negatively, averages £3725.5 for each employee. Most of which is entirely low cost preventable.

The Psychosocial Risk Management Process

Employers who are serious in their intent to improve the welfare of staff and have an understanding of the multiple benefits of employee engagement, will find the free guide to reducing stress by ‘Working for Wellbeing’ a good starting point. By implementing a measurable and cyclical psychosocial risk management process, they can expect to see absenteeism reduce to approximately 1.5 days per employee and reduced presenteeism costs. As employees increase perception of their wellbeing this positively affects productivity and performance, improved staff retention and recruitment, enabling an organisation to be an ‘employer of choice’.

Employers must provide a sustainable, transparent and measurable process that delivers an environment that’s energising and encourages innovation. All staff members should be proud to be part of such an organisation. When this workplace culture exists, employees feel valued enough to freely increase their discretionary effort.

Incentives and enthusiasm are great for workforce morale in the short-term, but history shows this approach is not effective as a long-term solution. The culture of the organisation is the foundation to give employers a sustained and improved performance incentive to keep employees doing their work effectively.

Trade Unions Or Employee Representative Bodies

It is imperative that any culture change is recognised by all stakeholders such as Trade Unions or Employee Representative bodies and led by the senior management team of the organisation. In recognising that leadership behaviors are paramount to successful change, then it is important that they, as leaders, recognise their own behaviors. If these behaviors are negative and overpowering then there will be a detrimental impact on the whole organisation (Kets de Vries, Vrignaud, Florent-Treacy & Korotov, 2007)

Effective and consistent communication is essential when the organisation is changing the culture. This is one of the most important but difficult factors in the whole process. All stakeholders are naturally resistant to change and therefore the benefits to them of any change must be identified, communicated and reinforced.

To communicate change benefits effectively there must be a defined process; identified with benefit messages for each stage of the process.

The aims of the stakeholders that take ownership of the process must address the areas of the employees concerns.

Measurable and Cyclical Workplace Culture

Feedback and any adjustments to be made to achieve improvement must be measurable and cyclical. It is also important that all means of communication are considered such as e-mails or local intranets, but also face-to-face meetings for those who do not have access to electronic means of communication.

In analysing the culture of the organisation the positive as well as the negative should be shown, so encouraging the positive aspects to prevail. An example would be positive rituals, e.g. training and induction programs to promote good practice within the workplace. In preparing a plan for change, the paradigm has to be identified accurately. The process has to uncover the true identity of the assumptions the organisation holds, for the results to provide suitable and permanent change. Implementing cultural change involves reshaping values, beliefs and behaviors, which may not be well received, (including those central to the power structure). Remapping the culture of the business will make each project easier for the workforce to deliver, as there will be less friction in the process, enabling staff to reach target deadlines more efficiently.

Francis McGinty Working for Wellbeing Ltd.

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