Atmosphere at work
|Atmosphere at work|
The atmosphere at work (also known as the working or organizational climate) can be defined as a team of insights and beliefs that reflect the way in which employees perceive and evaluate the work environment and the attributes of the organization. It can also be understood as a way in which management and employees perceive the mutual relations and behavior of these two parties in mutual contacts.
It is perceived subjectively by each employee, depending on the factors that are important to him. From the feelings of subordinates, one can draw conclusions about their secret desires. The notion of organizational climate is identified with these impressions. It is directly related to the organizational culture and is its main, easily noticeable symptom. Most importantly, it determines the development of the company.
The atmosphere at work can be described as good or bad, depending on the degree of several parameters:
- how management treats employees,
- mutual trust between management and employees,
- satisfaction / dissatisfaction with being a member of a given group (enterprise),
- no fear of conflict - willingness to hear what the other side has to say; readiness to resolve the dispute by means of a conversation;
- involvement of employees in achieving the organization's goals and taking care of their interests (paying attention to their needs),
- flexibility in operation resulting from the rules and procedures adopted in the organization,
- creating systems of integration of new employees to help them feel belonging to the team,
- team managers' attitude towards finding new, unique solutions;
- in the case of a wrong path, no criticism, just to pay attention that similar mistakes will not be made in the future,
- drawing attention to the means of motivating employees: coercion, incentive or persuasion.
Trust as the basis of the relationship
The foundation of every relationship is trust. It is connected with credibility, honesty as well as authenticity. However, its construction is not so simple - it requires cooperation and time. It should be treated as a kind of social capital of the company, which supervisors and team leaders should pay attention to. Creating an atmosphere of trust is an important way to influence the team's involvement. So how to build trust between employees and management? The answer is not simple or unambiguous, but several conditions can be mentioned:
- the management focuses on internal communication in the company, including caring for relations between co-workers and superiors, creating reliable sources of information so that rumors can not be created; Submission of strategic and relevant information to subordinates,
- managers show empathy to their employees and respect the values they consider to be important;
- employees are convinced that management says what they think (there is consistency between these two elements),
- employees feel that they are treated fairly, equally and consistently.
In the groups that carry out the task of trust together, it is also necessary. If it is lost on either side, it takes a lot of time, energy of knowledge, professional skills and experience to rebuild the previous state of the atmosphere. To avoid such a situation, an appropriate policy on labor relations is developing. Managers and team leaders responsible for relations between company members are educated and trained, enabling them to learn the methods they should use in dealing with employees. They should strive to achieve transparency in relations by informing employees about their strategies and by increasing their involvement through inclusion and participation processes in various projects.
Atmosphere impact on employees
Depending on whether the work atmosphere is perceived as positive or negative, it can act as a motivator or, on the contrary, as a repulsive and discouraging factor.
The benefits of a pleasant work atmosphere can be manifold and can be expressed, among others, in:
- higher work productivity and better use of time;
- increase in employee involvement and creation of employees' awareness of responsibility for decisions - making them aware of their influence on what is happening with the company,
- in difficult times, show loyalty and support management with action to improve the company's situation;
- lower costs caused by absences, occupational diseases, but also accidents at work,
- a positive image of the company on the labor market and consumer goods and services, which contributes to the acquisition of valuable job candidates and other contractors.
If the atmosphere at work does not inspire confidence, employees will not work efficiently and will show unfavorable new ideas. Also, by imposing a large number of duties on employed employers, they can lead to excessive overloading of their subordinates and thoughts about work can cause them stress. In the worst case, they will decide to release and go to a competitive company.
An important aspect is the work-life balance, because it affects the human psyche. Then there is the certainty that the employee will come with a desire to work, and at home he will be able to relax and spend time with his family, or to devote it to personal development.
- Boud, D., Garrick, J., & Greenfield, K. (2000). Understanding learning at work. Performance Improvement, 39(10), 45-47.
- Hui, C. H., & Yee, C. (1999). Workgroup Atmosphere on Chinese Employees' Job. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 48(2), 175-185.
- Renee Baptiste, N. (2008). Tightening the link between employee wellbeing at work and performance: A new dimension for HRM. Management decision, 46(2), 284-309.