The more challenges our businesses face, the more we need to build up the resilience in our employees at all levels. Turning to professional development activities that support and strengthen the resilience of our employees is key to surviving and thriving despite these challenges. Building resilient workplaces means developing the soft skills within our teams, implementing processes that support psychological health, and promoting a healthy supportive work culture.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I will be addressing the elements of Psychological Health and Safety. The previous post addressed the first of these elements: Psychological Support in the workplace. This post will address Organizational Culture, the second of the 13 Pillars under the National Psychological Health and Safety Standards.

The implementation guide to the Psychological Health and Safety Standards defines Organizational Culture as “A work environment characterized by trust, honesty, and fairness” (Assembling the Pieces: An implementation Guide to the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace by the CSA Group and the Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2014)

The implementation guide later adds:

 A workplace with good Organizational Culture would be able to state that:

• All people in our workplace are held accountable for their actions,

• People at work show sincere respect for others’ ideas, values, and beliefs

•Difficult situations at work are addressed effectively.

• Employees feel that they are part of a community at work.

• Employees and management trust one another.

(Assembling the Pieces: An implementation Guide to the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace by the CSA Group and the Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2014)

Why is organizational culture important to businesses, especially with all the additional challenges we face related to the pandemic second wave, economic impact, and many other challenges? Businesses succeeding during these times know that they are only as good as their employees. Every element of business success rests on having healthy and engaged staff.

The costs of replacing staff who leave do to workplace stress and poor workplace culture is significant. This is an additional cost businesses impacted by the pandemic cannot afford to add to their bottom lines. Additionally, there is a shortage of skilled workforce talent who are fully capable and ready to be fully productive on day one. Bringing on new staff and on boarding during the pandemic results in additional challenges and time requirements that did not exist previously.

So, when you find the best people, you want to do everything you can to keep them and maximize their productivity. How you do this is by building a resilient team through having a positive work culture.

Workplace stress is the single biggest hindrance to effectiveness and efficiency. It results in poor decision making and errors, including miscommunication. Much of workplace stress can be mitigated by a positive work culture. During the times of COVID, maintaining a positive culture, even if you had one pre-COVID, requires planning and conscious effort.

The Implementation guide for the Psychological Health and Safety Standards indicates “leaders must: lead and influence organizational culture in a positive way” and later “leaders need to set a good example and walk the talk”. (Assembling the Pieces: An implementation Guide to the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace by the CSA Group and the Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2014).

Organizations that build a positive workplace culture now, and throughout the rebuilding phase, will see increased effectiveness and efficiency in their work teams, along with improved staff retention and engagement. Their customers will have a better experience and their company will be better represented by resilient and committee employees.

For more information on how to build more resilient work teams, consult the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety and the pillars of Psychological Support, and for improving your workplace culture, contact CHC Consulting  at communityhealthconsult@bell.net or visit our website at https://communityhealthcareconsulting.ca/

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