THE ORGANISATIONAL PSYCHE

Sanjeewaka Kulathunga elaborates on how employee wellbeing impacts organisational output

Since the dawn of civilisation, people have attempted to live and work, to bring about physical and mental wellbeing. However, it isn’t easy to organise and unite people in a common economic or social objective as their individual aspirations are uniquely different.

Even in the present economy, business and human resource leaders face major challenges in identifying the career aspirations of employees, and linking them with the organisational vision and mission. In this regard, organisational psychology has become more important in efforts to realise both the business vision and employee aspirations.

The organisation is not only a physical entity; it is a psychological phenomenon too. Despite the advent of advanced technologies to bring comfort and convenience to the human race, there’s growing concern about occupation related stress and depression.

And in spite of the abolition of human slavery and exploitation, contemporary employees encounter numerous psychological hardships, and are often unable to maintain a balance between their work and personal lives.

When employees start work in an organisation, they enter into an invisible psychological contract. Apparently, there are physically visible relationships between stakeholders such as employees, customers and management and the organisation, as well as psychologically invisible relationships ingrained in the hearts and minds of employees.

Both physical and mental wellbeing help shape how an employee experiences work related tasks – and behaves on the job as a member of the organisation. In the more recent past, there’s been greater awareness among corporates that business value creation could be improved by boosting employee wellbeing rather than controlling associated costs.

Many factors impact organisational productivity. Employee mental wellbeing influences economic output in a qualitative manner.

The intrinsic value of employee mental wellbeing in the workplace is infinite and cannot simply be measured by finite financial data. Indeed, the holistic impact of the progressive mental wellbeing of employees could only be realised in the form of organisational performance in the long run. A single dispirited employee could cause a ripple effect of negativity among other personnel as well.

If one were to compare an organisation with how a computer works, all physically visible and tangible resources can be likened to the hardware, and the collective organisational psyche becomes the operating software. In such a scenario, the collective organisational psyche will hold shared beliefs, norms and assumptions in the domain of corporate culture.

Mental capital refers to the degree of mastering life skills when an individual is facing major life choices. In this sense, mental capital and wellbeing cannot be separated from human capital, which is the most creative source of knowledge and intelligence in operating a corporate entity.

Without fulfilling the intrinsic wants and needs of employees, we cannot expect to create productive human capital in the longer term. So business leaders should be farsighted enough to strategise, and enhance the mental capital and wellbeing of their employees. This will make way to utilise the collective human capital for sustainable organisational performance. Irrespective of the nature of the business, there needs to be a collective consciousness among stakeholders – from employees to end customers – connected through an ethereal network of individualised thoughts and emotions.

The mentality of employees could have a direct or indirect impact on organisational performance.

Therefore, the ultimate responsibility of business leaders is to keep their employees motivated, and passionate about maintaining equilibrium between optimal corporate output and individual goals.

A sense of loyalty to the organisation could only be generated among employees by not alienating them in times of personal grief and amid issues that could impact performance.

Presently, tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Apple are the most sought after by prospective employees across the globe, due to their unique organisational psyche and culture – i.e. team members are allowed to perform tasks and duties autonomously while ensuring work-life balance as distinguished members of these giant corporate families.

Unlike in the past, modern-day employees seek autonomous jobs with flexible work arrangements over being stuck with rigid working conditions such as a fixed times and locations.

Due to the proliferation of advanced technologies, employees could also be enabled to perform work through internet based telecommuting platforms, thereby raising the bar for occupational wellbeing. This shall we say, is a win-win strategy.