QUIZ - Is Your Company Culture Undermining Your Wellbeing?

Has the pandemic pushed health and wellbeing to the top of your agenda or was it always an integral part of your company culture?

Long before the pandemic hit, poor wellbeing at work was costing the UK economy billions of pounds, with employers taking huge hits in productivity.

Here are just a few of the shocking headlines we got used to seeing:


As a result, we saw a rise in the number of company health and wellbeing programmes being implemented in order to combat these devastating outcomes and over time some companies were able to show how their wellbeing programmes improved a range of organisational markers, such as:

  • Overall health
  • Inclusivity
  • Employee morale
  • Employee engagement
  • Employee attraction and retention

  • Attendance
  • Productivity
  • Performance
  • Customer service
  • Employer brand and reputation

Conversely, there were other companies whose wellbeing initiatives fell flat and failed to make any substantial or sustainable difference at all.

So why do some companies succeed in fostering high levels of wellbeing and others don’t?

When wellbeing programmes are positioned to provide only the symptomatic treatment of issues that affect health and happiness at work they can come far too little and too late for organisations that haven’t addressed the complex issue of culture.

Shortcuts leave you feeling short changed

Quick fixes implemented on top of old poor working practices (that may well be responsible for some of the wellbeing issues in the first place) won’t help. We’re not stupid; we can see straight through these insincere policies.

Root causes of the problems need to be resolved. A sticking plaster will not do the job, however pretty or colourful the plaster is. There are simply no shortcuts; if you want to successfully create a healthier and happier workplace, you need to take a long hard look at your company culture and ask: what’s happening in our workplace that might be undermining wellbeing at a fundamental level?

It’s a matter of culture not policy

Your company culture plays a fundamental part in your wellbeing at work.

How would you describe your workplace culture?

Take this Quiz to find out if your company culture is affecting your wellbeing...

Review your answers. Do you have more happy or sad faces?

If your answers to these questions paint a woeful picture, you might have some toxic elements in your company culture that are undermining your wellbeing. Addressing these issues at a cultural level will get you back on track.

The impact of the pandemic on wellbeing

Whilst the long term impact of the pandemic is yet to materialise, early indications show that there will be long term negative consequences for huge swathes of the population, including:

  • Reduced feelings of economic security
  • Job insecurity
  • Difficulties parenting and caring
  • Blurred work life parameters
  • Pressures and consequences of homeschooling/education
  • Poor physical and mental health
  • Feelings of being unsafe
  • Isolation and loneliness

If the wellbeing problem is already costing businesses billions of pounds each year then the problem will reach epidemic proportions after the fall out of the crisis. There is no time to rest on your laurels - we must all take steps to cultivate company cultures in which high levels of wellbeing can manifest and be sustained in even the harshest of times.

The good news is that we can adapt.

If you’re a manager or leader in your organisation you need to take direct responsibility to be part of the cultural change.

With the right management skills and behaviours you can cultivate a culture that creates good health and happiness for your team.

It’s no secret that our managers have a big impact on our wellbeing; managers also play a huge role in the type of culture that prevails in an organisation.

Naturally, it’s a good idea to equip managers with the skills and behaviours we need to create working conditions that actively create good health and happiness at work.

However a recent study by London School of Economics shows when times get tough, managers have a tendency to fall back on just ‘doing’ the job - and important skills like coaching, leading, giving feedback, powerful and positive communication and handling challenging conversations go backwards.

So change needs to happen at a behavioural level and, once and for all, we as managers must set aside long-held mental models of what it means to be a manager in order to cultivate the types of cultures that can underpin wellbeing in the most difficult of circumstances. To achieve this we must undergo a ‘rewiring’ in order to learn how to interact differently and better support the people around us.

When we as managers adopt an ‘Enquiry-Led Approach’ (ELA®) we’re more likely to understand what our team really needs.

Typically, as leaders and managers we can spend too much time in ‘tell mode’ and spend very little of our time listening. This can be highly counterproductive when we're dealing with colleagues who are struggling with overwhelm, anxiety, stress and even burnout and getting this wrong can lead to much bigger problems further down the line.

But when you learn how to consistently integrate an ELA® into your leadership style, and spend more time asking powerful questions and listening attentively to what is being said, things can quickly turn around and drive incredible results that will amaze you.

These results can include improving levels of trust, devolving decision making, developing colleagues' potential, working more innovatively, reorganising and establishing fairer boundaries, communicating more openly, collaborating more effectively, motivating your teams and improving team working, building resilience in the face of change, establishing new relationships and working smarter rather than harder.

ELA® is a central principle of Operational Coaching™

If you really want to change the culture in your team, start by stopping 'telling' others what to do and instead adopt an Enquiry-Led Approach by developing your Operational Coaching™ skills.

We’ve spent over a decade working with leaders and managers helping them to develop this enquiry-led approach and we’ve seen astonishing results. Even through major change programmes, managers have been able to deliver increases in engagement, productivity and performance as well as incredible uplifts in creativity and innovation, and crucially - wellbeing.  In a recent study across 47 different organisations, implementing Operational Coaching™ skills drove a 79 times return on investment!

Operational Coaching™ helps us as managers to incorporate an ELA® into our leadership style, enabling us to have highly effective conversations ‘in the moment’ and ‘on the job’. This skill enables us to increase our effectiveness within our role and build high-functioning, collaborative, healthy and happy teams.

Do you want to continue to have poor wellbeing at work or do you want to choose to create a positive and healthier work culture?

Take action to make the change now... click one of the three buttons below.