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Building a Healthy Workplace For Balanced Life


The most important aspect of a healthy workplace is reflected in the relationships we develop. When we model self-evaluation and ask employees to evaluate their work, we automatically set up an environment of personal and social responsibility, encouraging respect, which in turn fosters trust.

Most people, at one time or another, have worked in an environment that is emotionally toxic. A toxic workplace is best recognized by the fear, on the part of staff, of going to work or the awareness of consistent anger, hurt or feelings of being demoralized at the end of the day. Sometimes it is the individual who creates toxicity by their thinking. If I am the only one experiencing the above, it is likely, “my stuff” and not a toxic workplace.

Teams that take the time to develop a set of shared beliefs and expectations for the workplace are acting proactively toward creating a healthy workplace. By inviting input, we share power, developing a common vision with examples of specific expectations for how to deal with one another in conflict. Once done, people have a greater investment in their workplace. Knowing what is expected of us, sharing what we expect of others and believing others are attempting to treat us in ways we have agreed will likely be perceived as respectful allows us to begin developing trust in one another. Once done, individuals are more willing to work together, toward our common vision, setting and enacting defined goals and outcomes.

In the workplace, as in life, it is a human quality to make mistakes. It is how we learn. If we have an acceptance of this as well as an expectation that each member of the team will “own” their mistakes, take credit for their work, work out differences and conflicts with others, and give credit where credit is due, people feel free to be themselves.

Edward Deming, the American who facilitated Japan in it’s economic development after world war 11, said 90% of problems in the workplace are system problems and only 10 % are the responsibility of the individual. It is based on the belief that we are interdependent and that if the system is faulty, it does not matter how efficient a worker is, they will be ineffective in the position.

A system can be reflected as means of communicating with one another, the timing process used for ordering parts, the physical movement of equipment or paper from one area of a business to another or simply the choice of who is involved in any given meeting. When we set up systems that are efficient, they will automatically be more need satisfying to all involved and provide a means of accountability and self evaluation. As well they maximize the use of people power and dollars, both of which tend to have a positive effect on the moral of an organization.

Self Evaluation
Trusting Relationships
Know your job and what is expected of you
Develop Efficient Systems