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Organisational culture and Work life balance

Executive counseling, while addressing the distress of organisation in an individual and collective levels, also looks into the cultural dimension of organisational behaviour and after effects on stress and anxiety. Organisational culture was dominated by Psychologist in the 50s but has got into the lexicon of management science after inculcating the theories from anthropology and sociology which developed the branch of study called organisational behaviour, or OB as it is called. OB is thus the manifestation of the core values of an organisation manifested as behaviours within the organisation.

OB has a direct co relation to organisational stress as it is behaviours that causes stress. Now this behaviour aspect was first explained by Hofstede in 1980 where he looked into the difference in thinking people from different countries. Individual countries was found to have a common behaviour which can be called as a national culture. Within this culture each family had its own behaviour. Most organisations are infect founded by a family member and hence inculcates fragments of the family behaviour into the organisational culture. (OC)

OC and OB thus form the basis for determining organisational variables like Work life balance, Job satisfaction etc. The mix of both organisational objectives driven by a dominant OC when encountered with an Individual culture, if there is no balance it results in creation of stress in the system. Most of the individual issue arising from this fault created by the stress divide. Let us take the example of employees leaving on time, or on working during holidays etc. While we can see MNCs where senior executives switch off their phones to customers during recess time a situation which is not acceptable in an Indian context .While in an MNC context this is normal but in an indian context this can cause job losses and reprimands. Hence the argument that culture and behaviour creates stress.

An acceptable work life balance as understood by various OC studies across the world is the notion that employees carry that they can handle a personal exigency issue without worry. The need for attending the family or personal affairs if not satisfied will lead to an utter state of meaninglessness which is the primary cause of depression. Take the case of suicides among the armed forces or incidence of violence in the barracks due to non-availability of leaves to attend to family needs.

Within the private corporate sector also in the Indian context being in work relates to servility where it is expected to be as wished by the employer or a Boss. It is here that individual’s compromise and increases the stress fault resulting in psychosomatic illnesses. The increased level of absenteeism, lack of motivation, burnout n organisations are all a fall out of the behavioural aspect of OC.

In the context of counselling, management psychologist like us does a root cause analysis of the individual issue and tries to suggest solutions which can ameliorate the situation. Training and counselling the decision maker is another way of approach to redress the toxic behavioural challenge. Group counselling therapies like specialised training programs are also other means of intervention. Moreover, the impact of social media is already in use in this regard. There are companies such as The Marketing Heaven whose merit is that many YouTube videos with psychologist’s advice have become much easier to detect for anyone interested in viewing psychological counseling of any kind.

Prevention of employees not getting into the Stress-anxiety – depression axis is possible by managing their work life balance. This management need to be individual in nature as for each employee the balance varies. If HR functions enhances its employee connect initiatives by reaching out to each of the employee and addressing his or hers issues the balance can be maintained and thereby employee productivity.

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