The ever changing, fast moving modern world of work still has much to learn about being truly responsible in caring for staff wellbeing.
Research has shown that overly high pressured cultures are detrimental to productivity levels and can have a negative impact on employee wellbeing and happiness.
Some leaders still assume that stress induced working environments are the best strategy for getting the most out of their people; however, once a person’s wellbeing begins to deteriorate so does their ability to perform at their best. It can lead to conflict in the workplace, increased mistakes, sickness absence, low morale, employee disengagement, an increase in resignations and a damaged reputation for the company.
Staff disengagement is a big problem for a leader, it’s important to engage their team fully. It is a leader’s responsibility to encourage, motivate and inspire their staff, to empower them to achieve remarkable results. Empowerment needs to be the essence of the company. A leaders role is to help people to flourish and reach fulfilment in a humanistic way, if they fail to do this they risk damaging their team as well as the company’s performance overall.
The bottom line is, employee wellbeing and happiness can only derive from a positive culture. To create this, firstly, leaders must define their desired culture and make it clear what behaviours, values, and beliefs they want to see then model them for the rest of the organisation. And, secondly, communicate how these desired behaviours, values, and beliefs will be measured and incentivized.
The types of leadership behaviours that foster positive cultures include actively listening to people, providing support and encouragement, ensuring that people understand that their work is meaningful, encouraging a collaborative environment in which people work together to achieve great results and ensuring that people treat each other with respect, trust and kindness.
Factors such as ensuring that workloads are manageable, encouraging work life balance, celebrating successes, honouring commitments and offering training and development opportunities all contribute to a positive culture. Being accessible, approachable and welcoming of feedback as a leader is also important.
A positive work culture is one that has a clear purpose in which everyone understands their contribution, so that they are engaged with the success of the company. It requires effective and ongoing communication to cultivate a culture of trust and cooperation.
Placing staff wellbeing right at the centre of the business — embedding it in the processes, procedures, methods and functions of the organisation — is what keeps the imperative of caring for our people alive. Adopting the assumption that wellbeing is a fundamental performance and productivity driver, means that great effort must go into the effective management of it.
In the end, the results of fostering a positive culture are greater business effectiveness, higher employee productivity and engagement and increased profits.
The good news for leaders is that they hold the power to shape their organisations culture, and it’s vitally important that they do because the success of the company depends on it.
Tania Watson is the founder of Creative Coaching and an executive coach, organisational consultant and leadership specialist. Creative Coaching is a successful company dedicated to the development of senior leaders in organisations through one to one coaching, intact team development and group facilitation. If you or someone from your organisation would like to have a no obligation conversation about how Creative Coaching may be able to help, please email Tania directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.