Let’s face it, people spend a lot of time at work. A healthy workplace is vital for social well-being. While “social well-being” may sound a bit pompous, even abstract, individuals live and work in relationship, in social environments based on stated or assumed values and norms. We are social beings.
In our society we tend to start with the individual. “Get your act together and everything will be fine.” I may be quite fine thank you very much, but what’s happening in my workplace is damaging my “fineness.”
My behaviour as an employee, supervisor or owner depends on my relationship to others. I’m part of a cast, so to speak. I need to know what my part is. What’s expected of me. I need support to do my part well. Support from my supervisor. Support from my colleagues. And I, in turn, need to support those I have a working relationship with.
- My supervisor has given me clear instructions but they’re never around if I have questions or concerns. I feel stymied. How “fine” can I function?
- My staff doesn’t respect the decisions I make. Employees are becoming mutinous. How “fine” can I be? How “fine” can they be? Everyone suffers.
- A colleague knows I have a scent allergy and sprays perfume in the change room. How “fine” can I be when my health is being undermined? Help!
CWE works with workplaces when the workplace’s well-being has been compromised. There’s conflict. Employees are stressed out. Maybe people come to work but function poorly. Or they don’t come to work at all. Management doesn’t know what to do. Performance is compromised. Production is down. And, to extend the metaphor, the audience may be leaving the theatre.
Here are some workplace situations CWE has been involved with:
- a difficult reintegration when a employee returns from sick leave which led to conflict with fellow staff and management
- racial tensions which led to divisive and destructive behaviour
- a change in leadership results in staff rebellion
- poor judgment and an inappropriate email suggesting violence against a fellow worker led to a workplace investigation and the need to reintegrate the employee once the investigation is completed
- many months of debilitating conflict between staff and the Executive Director, between staff and Board members, and among staff members.
In each case, the CWE worked with a workplace advisory team to:
- identify the nature of the conflict
- identify who needed to be involved to find a way forward
- invite people to take part
- assure participants:
- were taking part willingly
- wanted things to get better
- were taking responsibility for their part in the conflict, no matter how small, i.e., the breakdown in relationships
- provide a facilitated conversation, structured by a series of questions so those involved in the conflict or affected by it could come to an agreement as how to move forward
CWE offered each workplace an opportunity to reconnect people who had become disconnected through relational breakdown. To re-establish social well-being by considering the cast, their roles and what they need from each other to perform well together.
CWE is pleased to be able to offer such workplace-changing services. If you know of a workplace that could benefit from something similar, please contact Anne at 647.986.8297 or by email at [email protected].