Monday, July 5, 2010

Creating Positive and Healthy GOC Organisations

To be truly successful, an organisation must have a work climate of trust and openness, that is a positive atmosphere. A positive atmosphere indicates that members of the organisation are motivated, committed, involved and satisfied. It means that people are comfortable enough with one another to be creative, take risks, and make mistakes. It also means that people are satisfied with their jobs and with their work environment. You are also likely to hear plenty of laughter, and research shows that people who are enjoying themselves are more productive than those who dislike what they are doing.

Trust is by far the most important ingredient of a positive atmosphere. Some of the characteristics and behaviours that build trust are: honesty, dependability, sincerity and open-mindedness. It’s also important to keep in mind that what one person sees as trustworthy is not necessarily what another sees. We each have different values. Trust is not built overnight. In fact, building trust is often one the greatest challenges of most organisations. If a team you work with has done a good job of building trust, the other aspects of a positive atmosphere will come more easily.

Enhancing organisational health is becoming a challenge for most organisations, as more and more people are experiencing difficulties managing their work/life demands and maintain a sense of well-being (physical and psychological). Organisations that are proactive and try to improve their employees work/life balance gain from such efforts and often see increases in the overall productivity, and a reduction in stress-related employee absenteeism (which accounts for as much as 50% of absenteeism in some organisations). While there are many strategies that can be helpful for improving organisational health (i.e., wellness coaching, preventing burnout workshop), simple initiatives focussing on improving the physical/psychological health of all employees seem to be particularly effective, enjoyable and fairly inexpensive. For instance, creating a "fitness or social" group helps develop a sense of belongingness and helps build better working relationships.

Y2 Consulting Psychologists, an HRM firm specialising in Government organisations, have led several workplace health and climate assessments in GOC departments and agencies. In many of the GOC organisations that were assessed, employees identified the following needs: improve the work atmosphere, empower employees, provide a vision, inspire them and build respectful and transparent relationships.

We are interested in knowing how the work atmosphere is in your organisation and what are your suggestions to improve it.

Your input is important and will help us further our understanding of the factors that contribute to a positive and healthy work climate.

Yaniv M. Benzimra, Ph.D.
Consulting Psychologist

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