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Organisational Culture: The new dimension to Executive counselling

Executive counselling, while addressing the distress individual have found that stress and anxiety levels of an individual is co related to organisational culture. Organisational culture as a subject was handled by psychologists earlier but has now got into the lexicon of management science. Inculcating the theories from anthropology and sociology, organisational culture, has now developed itself as branch of study under Human resources management.

Organisational culture has a direct co relation to organisational stress as unpleasant human behaviours cause stress. Now this behaviour aspect was first explained by Hofstede in 1980 where he investigated the difference in thinking people from different countries. Individual countries were 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 in fact founded by a family member and hence they inculcate fragments of their family behaviour into the organisation they manage.

Culture and Behaviour is the basis for determining organisational variables like Work life balance, job satisfaction and motivation. It is when the organisational culture is in conflicts with the culture of the individual that there is an eruption of stress symptoms affecting employee morale and productivity. Most of the individual stress issue arise from this fault line. Let us take the example of employees leaving on time, or on working during holidays. In MNCs it is not uncommon that senior executives switch off their phones to customers during recess time or holidays, a situation which is not acceptable in an Indian context. In a MNC context this is normal but in an Indian context this can result in customer complaints

An acceptable work life balance as understood by various studies across the world is that once an employee can manage both his home and office well without worry there is productivity in the system 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 demotivation. 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 such cases are rampant. It is thus in an organisational context that an individual compromises and increases their stress level resulting in psychosomatic illnesses. The increased level of absenteeism, lack of motivation, burnout in organisations is all a fall out of the organisational culture

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.

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. However, there are limits by which an employer can penetrate the personal space of an employee. It is here where executive counselling comes into picture.

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