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Culture Change

By Madison Hanscom, PhD When it comes to doing the job well, people need to know what is expected of them. Ambiguity can be a very stressful experience, and a great deal of individuals are in a working situation where they would like to know precisely what they should do to be considered a high performer. Unfortunately, for those working in remote positions, this is particularly difficult. A team of researchers recruited 1135 participants to take place in a study that collects information on their work experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic over time. The data collection began in April of 2020 and

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD Attitudes influence behavior. There are a host of reasons as to why justice perceptions should be of concern to companies. They influence the employee experience, the brand, the reputation of the company, and the customer experience. Justice perceptions are also related to important organizational outcomes like job satisfaction, organizational commitment, job performance, citizenship behavior, trust, turnover intentions, health and stress (1,2). This begs the question — Researchers were interested in this question. In order to examine these relationships, they collected data from over 300 mine and factory workers (e.g., textiles, food processing, breweries, timber and sawmill plants) (3). The researchers

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD Let’s say you are about to start your workday. Imagine two scenarios: • A day in which you will be doing the same task repeatedly for 8 hours• A day in which you will rotate between a variety of tasks for 8 hours Which would you prefer? Although it feels great to get really good at a particular task, over time this can take a toll on motivation. Research has shown that individuals with variety in their work tasks are more satisfied with their jobs (1). Repetitive tasks with little variation can also contribute to complacency and attentional issues,

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD The extent to which individuals can “bounce back” to how things were pre-crisis describes their resiliency. It is beneficial to have a workforce of resilient employees who can recover quickly from difficult times. Not only is this better for the company (e.g., financially), it is better for the people (e.g., psychologically). We often place onus on the individual to be resilient. We might think, “they just need to get over it”. But researchers have shown that others in our environment can have an impact on our resiliency, and this includes leadership. After or during a hard event, employees

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD Researchers collected data from over a thousand adults in US to get a sense of what factors were associated with an individual having greater psychological resilience during the first few weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown (Kilgore, Taylor, Cloonan, & Dailey, 2020). They defined resilience as the ability to withstand setbacks, adapt positively, and bounce back from adversity. Although there are a great deal of factors related to resiliency. The researchers found the following factors to be significantly associated with greater resilience during the COVID-19 lockdown: • More days a week spent outside in the sunshine (at least 10 mins) •

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD Recovery and downtime are important for a happy and productive workforce. As a leader, you should consider your role in this process. Reflect on how you contribute to the climate surrounding recovery in your workplace. A study from the American Psychological Association recently showed when companies encourage people to take their vacation time to disconnect, employees come back feeling more refreshed, motivated, and productive than companies that do not encourage taking time off (1). This shows the value in building a culture that allows people to disconnect without feeling guilty or mentally tethered to work at all times.

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