30 Oct Mind the Emotional Culture Gap
During these very challenging times, taking care of people and finding out how they want to feel at work seems more important than ever. Similarly, being aware of how people don’t want to feel at work can be very helpful. Culture and leadership have always shaped organisations but more and more it seems it is this emotional culture and leadership that influences success at all levels.
Increased levels of stress and anxiety are being reported in the following article ‘Half receive no mental health support from employer since pandemic hit’. Anything we can do to prevent or reduce further increases must surely be a good thing for us all. Knowing how people and teams want to feel at work is a powerful insight to supporting their engagement and motivation. A ‘gap’ here in emotional culture is likely to impact negatively on both productivity and financial performance.
Despite having a clear purpose, vision and values, if the emotional culture of an organisation isn’t being supported, the rest could potentially become irrelevant. Many organisations provide support packages such as an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) or Occupational Health which offer helpful and confidential support. This is complimentary but not necessarily integrated with the emotional culture and leadership in an organisation.
For many people, work is a major part of their lives and supporting a mentally healthy workplace is an investment not just financially but also socially and emotionally. In the short-term it can help people to cope with current challenges but in the longer-term it can have a significant impact on their wellbeing and productivity.
In this article ‘Millions of working days lost each year through poor mental health’ reduced sickness levels, increased retention and improved morale and motivation are among the tangible benefits of supporting emotional culture and people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Working from home is a welcome relief for some but for others the lack of social contact and conversation is increasingly isolating. For others the lack of distinction between home and workspace is increasingly difficult. Thinking about the emotional culture of our organisations and how we would like to feel while working from home makes it more likely that conversations with our line mangers and colleagues will help us to self-care and cope, even thrive.
All in all, it seems that the duty of care to invest in the mental health and well-being of people in our organisations is an increasing priority and an emotional culture gap to be avoided. Line managers have a duty of care to themselves too and to be role models in a mentally healthy workplace.
What can we all do to help?
Every member of staff is in a unique situation so the opportunity to have a conversation about how they want to feel to be successful at work and any support they need is helpful for them, their team and their organisation.
Integrating these conversations into current ways of working adds to the emotional culture of an organisation and brings welcome regularity and consistency for all.
Training on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace provides people with the skills and behaviours to increasingly support themselves and others. Collectively this shapes the emotional culture of their organisation, safeguarding its future as much as possible. Our training includes practical steps and support material, designed to keep it simple whilst supporting people both individually and collectively.
For more information
Check out our new course ‘Mind the emotional culture gap’.
On the training courses and workshops provided by MHScot please look at the rest of our website.
Written by MHScot Team Member, Fiona Liddle
Views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in our blogs belong solely to MHScot.