The importance of workplace culture on health and happiness
Your workplace culture is very important, playing a large role in whether or not an organisation is a happy and healthy place to work. Culture is socially learned and transmitted by members; the core values of an organisation begin with its leadership. Employees are led by the behaviour of leaders, such that the behaviour of both parties become increasingly in line. When strong unified behaviour, values and beliefs have been developed, a strong organisational culture emerges.
Employees are led by the behaviour of leaders, such that the behaviour of both parties become increasingly in line.
When the interaction between the leadership and employees is good, the latter will make a greater contribution, be encouraged to accomplish the objectives assigned by the organisation, ultimately enhancing job satisfaction. However, lack of job satisfaction is cited as the number one reason for the desire to change roles. Interestingly, job satisfaction is deemed more important than pay (44%), while feeling valued at work by leadership teams is also rated as one of the highest factors (30%) influencing perceptions of current employment. This is also important as London faces the highest risk of staff departures, with 66% considering moving.
Job satisfaction is cited as the number one reason for the desire to change roles. Interestingly, job satisfaction is deemed more important than pay.
A bad culture can lead to poor health and reduced productivity. There were 440,000 cases of work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2014-15. The main work factors cited by respondents as causing work related stress, depression or anxiety were workload pressures, including tight deadlines, too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support. Other factors identified included role uncertainty (lack of clarity about job/uncertain what meant to do).
The main work factors cited by respondents include tight deadlines, too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support.
Meanwhile the phenomenon of presenteeism in the British workplace – working longer hours, fearful of bosses – is supposedly leading to higher stroke risk, heart disease, back problems and more mental health issues.
While workplace health promotion is important, it may be pretty useless unless it becomes an integral part of the core values of an organisation. Leaders have to appreciate their function in maintaining a positive workplace health culture. This would in return ensure consistent behaviour between members of the organisation, reducing conflicts and creating a healthy working environment for employees.
 Christine Kane-Urrabazo: Management’s role in shaping organizational culture. Journal of Nursing Management 2006, 14:188–194