In the drive for better performance organisations look to their most valued asset: their people.
Managing people in the modern world of business has become more complex and challenging and the people equation has taken on a complexity all of its own.
Ensuring a positive and healthy workplace is everyone’s responsibility and not just the HR department, the senior executives and team leaders, although the accountability for ensuring the working environment is conducive to good mental health and the right balance is struck lies with leaders and managers across all facets of the organisation.
The WHO defines a healthy job, and by definition a happy workplace, as:
A healthy job is likely to be one where the pressures on employees are appropriate in relation to their abilities and resources, to the amount of control they have over their work, and to the support they receive from people who matter to them.
Source: World Health Organisation.
While some degree of stress is part and parcel of working life everyone is different. What some see as realistic objectives may be seen by others in the same team or in another department as unrealistic, excessive and high pressure which carry the potential for demotion, loss of responsibility, recriminations and blame or even job loss.
Or the culture of the organisation may be seen as an “old boys’ club” or particularly skewed towards a particular racial or ethnic group representing little opportunity for the recognition of a job well done and career progression as an unattainable pipedream.
These factors are just a few among the many which can lead to sub-optimal organisations which may be missing out on meeting their objectives, or simply not capitalising on upside in today’s competitive business world.
Organisations with a positive and supportive working environment achieve better results.
What happens at the office doesn’t necessarily stay at the office. With the boundaries between work life and employees’ personal lives blurring, home and family life can also be the victims of a poor workplace culture.
Stress and anxiety, depression, and trauma are by far the highest ranking mental health challenges posing the greatest threat in today’s workplace.
But the good news is you can dynamically transform your workplace culture in a way that makes a real and measurable difference and positively impacts the quality of decision-making, increases the commitment and loyalty of employees, enhances the organisation’s reputation and sets the scene for operational excellence.
The key to creating strong and supportive – and highly successful organisations – lies in identifying and tackling the root causes of poor mental health by acting to prevent the causes and build a mentally healthy workplace with an embedded culture which is geared towards performance and success.
We proactively work with organisations to identify and analyse characteristics, situations, events and behaviours which either create or have created a negative workplace culture.
Our experience is global with a team of over 25 professionals with long-standing experience as board members, executives, managers and consultants in industries including professional services, financial services, industry, education, healthcare and not-for-profit.
Some of the contributory factors towards poor workplace culture and mental ill-health include:
- Excessive workloads
- Conflicting demands and lack of role clarity
- Lack of involvement in decisions that affect the worker and lack of influence over the way the job is done
- Poorly managed organisational change, job insecurity.
We work with our clients to assess evaluate and understand the current organisational culture and mix, the operating environment, marketplace and strategic factors to determine the current workplace culture. Our engagements extend into then recommending key initiatives for change and their expected outcomes, prioritisation based on the client’s strategy, capabilities and appetite, and additional areas for improvement and enhancement.
Our consultants bring real-world experience and speak the language of business, with the backing and support of trained, qualified mental health professionals experienced in corporate and workplace mental health.
Our experienced consultants include:
- Board advisors
- Executive Coaches
- Change consultants
- HR professionals
- Resilience Coaches
- Programme and project management professionals
- Sector-specific experts
- Auditors, accountants and lawyers
- General managers, finance professionals, IT professionals, risk and audit
“A healthy crew is a productive crew.”
Source: Sylvia Bruce, Associate at Flexmind, writing in the Institute of Directors Productivity Guide 2019