How Do Your People Feel at Work?

Do they feel encouraged, supported and energised, or blocked, diminished and afraid?

For many people, going to work can feel like entering a war zone.

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of workplace bullying in the world. Many employers and people leaders struggle with first identifying that there is a workplace bullying or harassment problem, and secondly what to do about it.

So, what are some indicators of a potential bullying problem? There are the hard indicators - poor performance, high staff turnover, lowered customer and employee satisfaction. Often they are explained away as attributable to something else other than bullying. 

What if instead you were to ask how your people feel at work? More helpful. Trouble is that many people lack the words, the emotional literacy, to express how they feel about something.   

That’s where the Emotional Culture Deck game plugs the gap. Developed by Riders and Elephants, it flips the conversations around workplace culture.

Where emotions of blocked, diminished, anxious, doubt, afraid, incapable, intimidated are prevalent in your workplace, then you may have a bullying culture at play.

In a positive, psychologically safe environment, people are likely to feel confident, secure, connected, supported, energised, open, at ease.

It is our emotions that drive our behaviours, and in turn our work performance. Negative, toxic environments result in group anger, sadness and fear.  All are hallmarks of an unsafe workplace and lead to negative outcomes.

Conversely, psychologically safe environments generate positive emotions that are associated with higher satisfaction, motivation, productivity, performance and quality.

If you do have a bullying culture, you need to deal to it in order to discharge your health and safety obligations under HSE 2015; and the sooner that is done, the less harm will come to your employees and your business.

This article was authored by Denise Hartley-Wilkins, an ODI specialist in using the Emotional Culture Deck to tap into feelings at work. 

If you’d like to know more about how the Emotional Culture Deck might help diagnose and treat bullying in your workplace, take a look at this: Emotional Culture Deck

And, if you’d like to discuss using it in your workplace, please call Kyran Newell or Nicky Trainor at ODI on 03 943 2373.