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Leadership breeds a healthy workplace

Any workplace that makes people happy, satisfied, valued, supported, and trust their colleagues, superiors and the overall environment is healthy – as it promotes a feeling of happiness and psychological safety. Management of any organisation and its leaders play an important role in setting this context and nurturing an environment of psychological safety. Research shows […]

Any workplace that makes people happy, satisfied, valued, supported, and trust their colleagues, superiors and the overall environment is healthy – as it promotes a feeling of happiness and psychological safety.
Management of any organisation and its leaders play an important role in setting this context and nurturing an environment of psychological safety. Research shows that while Leadership is a complex attribute, it promotes the perception and feeling of a healthy workplace.
It is worth thinking about how people can promote this environment and, in the process, also grow and empower their team members and the overall organisation. Research has shown that organizations with a healthy workplace culture have higher levels of employee engagement, productivity, and retention. They also have lower levels of absenteeism and turnover. Employees who feel supported and engaged in the workplace are more likely to be motivated, satisfied with their jobs and more committed to the organization’s goals and objectives.
Empowering the team is one of the most important aspects of leadership – Delegation is not removing micromanagement but empowering team members to grow. This one attribute not only creates good communication between employees but also makes them feel supported.
A culture of positivity without getting into toxic positivity helps to a great deal. A lot of leaders are known to build support for themselves by touching conversations around people’s weaknesses and what they can do better. While it does make the person feel understood – over emphasising on what is missing in people – peels off layers of confidence.
One needs to create the right mix of support and positivity to look at the brighter side of things while at the same time acknowledging what is missing.
Our brains are anyway wired to think of what is missing and find voids; our workspaces should focus on what people bring to the table rather than what they don’t to promote a culture of psychological safety, in turn promoting a healthy workspace.
Leaders need to be role models of open communication, positivity and empowerment for their immediate circle to pick these attributes and cascade them down to their teams.
As leaders, we are also responsible for the work ethics and values of the organisation. Promoting work-life balance, flexibility, and a sense of community, Inclusiveness and belonging are important for people to enjoy their working hours.
A learning culture is another element that promotes growth, and fosters innovation and creativity. Coaching, mentoring and programs that make people push their boundaries thus thinking differently about work challenges is another element that creates a healthy environment.
Office is where people spend a large chunk of their waking hours, so ensuring we are able to provide some bare essentials, through our culture, policies and processes is important. Simple things that make people feel valued, respected and included are important and the way of doing this is by respecting people for who they are, growing, listening, supporting them to take calculated risks.
My mentor used to say – “Go make mistakes, I have your back” – an environment that promotes this is what is termed as a healthy work environment and leaders are largely responsible for breeding this culture.
The author is a Global Inclusion Consultant, TEDx speaker, Executive Coach and Founder of Embrace Consulting.

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