The world at the moment seems to be particularly volatile … politically … economically … socially. The work world that many of us grew up in may often feel like ancient history …
It’s so easy to feel that we lack control over our own lives. This can be particularly true at work especially if you feel there is a lack of directional clarity or degree of control in your job.
Combine our increasingly uncertain times, with change and a lack of control and it’s no wonder that workplace stress is increasing. According to a Health and Safety Executive survey, 49% of all working days lost in 2016-17 were due to workplace stress. Combine the toll on individuals with the estimated lost productivity cost to UK industry of £15 billion per year and you get a very sorry picture indeed.
So, what can workers and leaders do to make life better for all?
At Crail Consulting, we strongly believe that each of us has the opportunity to take more control of our work lives than we think is possible. However, starting from the top of the organisation, we all need to look out for others – our peers and subordinates – as well as ourselves. Strong leadership, through position or example can really help set the tone for a positive and therefore healthier working environment.
Where do we start?
Start by being clear about your own role in the organisation. Clarity about your role means that you can then also be clear about what to expect from others and how to support them.
If you’re the boss, then that clarity of focus is about being clear about the vision for the organisation. It means understanding why that vision has been chosen. As a leader, you can be clear about where you are leading your people … rather than “helming a yacht tacking its way across a stormy sea”.
It means being clear about the type of culture that you want to work in … and just as importantly, are unhappy to work in. That clarity drives the infrastructure of the organisation … the processes, how performance is managed, systems and organisation structure.
This means that you work in an organisation where all stakeholders – not just shareholders – are treated with respect and as adults.
Why would you and your organisation want this?
Who wouldn’t want to work an organisation of motivated people who are clear about what they should be doing; who work together collaboratively; where money is spent wisely to achieve a common set of goals? Oh, and if your FD questions the value of this then remind them of the productivity increases possible by halving sickness absence.
But how do you go about taking more control?
The starting point is clarity about your vision. What is the rationale for this vision? What are the benefits and who are the recipients?
It can be difficult to articulate this as so often people are too close to the business so that assumptions and prejudices become facts and there’s an inward focus. However, Crail Consulting has worked with many clients to challenge and to help them to define their vision using a structured methodology that has a clear sequence of steps and decision-making.
If you would like to discuss this further, then please contact us on 0131 272 2760