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A team of five highly-skilled, professionals working for a global-brand organisation, with high pressure roles and a strong reputation. The team had been reduced during substantial, organisation-wide cuts and had experienced organisational change, yet were having to cope with externally-determined, increased workloads and market competition.
• To maintain the team’s work quality despite the inherent pressure of their roles.
• To find out how the Department could better support the team.
Detailed, individual interviews with team members, their line-manager, the Department’s Deputy Manager, and Health Manager using our ‘Cultural Psychological Wellbeing Assessment’.
A detailed understanding of how the team’s psychological wellbeing, health and performance was affected by policy and systems at organisational level, and formal and informal practices at team and department levels.
• All confidently produced high quality work and were strongly motived to excel and provide worthwhile contribution to their field.
• All showed a good understanding of health: Most aimed to live a healthy lifestyle.
• The greatest negative effect on health and wellbeing was the daily pressure to cope with increasing work demands and reduced resources. All but one, stated the current workload and performance levels as unsustainable: One felt on the verge of burnout (with increasingly serious personal consequence).
• Everyday practices that did promote psychological wellbeing were inconsistent. This reduced the opportunity to complete professionally-enriching and commercially-valuable projects that would have enhanced the team’s flourishing, profile and financial sustainability.
• The Department Heads frequently commended them for their ‘flagship’ status, work quality and good work ethic, but most questioned whether senior management and the organisation valued them as a team and individuals.
• With more organisational change on the way, all but one, was contemplating leaving.
A detailed report gave context-specific understanding of the team’s current situation and how it affected their psychological wellbeing, health and performance. It also broached the potential consequences of up-coming change. Recommendations were given to address concerns and to reinforce and improve upon good practice.
• 54 recommendations were given. Most aimed to ensure that the organisation and team’s culture, procedure and systems provided experiences to promote psychological wellbeing with direct positive effects on performance. Others aimed to; improve the physical working environment in line with health and safety regulations, to promote personal coping resources, and to safeguard future staff retention.
A meeting was held with the Department’s management, HR and the Health Manager to provide situation clarity. Recommendations were discussed in relation to urgency, how best to achieve them, and management responsibility. Management stated that the detail given gave them confidence in how best to support the team into the future.
Team Manager – “We’re a great team, with so much potential to be even better, but the changes, new systems and increased demands, mean we’re struggling. The things that we talked about with you, what the organisation can do to make us feel supported and valued, to give us the chance to excel, they would make real a difference. They wouldn’t cost anything. Just an awareness of what helps and what doesn’t, and then clearer communication and more focused support.
Senior Manager – “We’ve been through a lot of change, and after a while you’ve got to look at how everything’s settled. In a big organisation, it’s easy to think that everything’s in place to support people. But you’ve reminded us that its more intricate than that. You’ve raised some key issues that we need to look into, but it’s also important that we do the small things that make the big difference far more often.”