To have a competitive edge, many companies have a high-pressure, take-no-prisoners, cut-throat, work culture to drive their financial success.
However, there is now a large and growing body of research on positive organizational psychology, demonstrating that a cut-throat environment is harmful to productivity over time. But, it also showed that a positive environment would lead to remarkable benefits for employers, employees, and the bottom line.
There is an assumption that stress and pressure push employees to perform better and faster. But what cut-throat organizations fail to comprehend is the hidden costs incurred.
First, medical care expenditures at high-pressure companies are nearly 50 per cent greater than at other organizations. The American Psychological Association estimates that more than $500 billion is siphoned off by the U.S. market due to workplace stress, and 550 million workdays are lost annually due to stress at work. Sixty per cent to 80 per cent of workplace accidents are attributed to stress, and it’s estimated that more than 80% of doctor visits are the result of stress. Workplace stress has been associated with health problems ranging from metabolic syndrome to cardiovascular disease and mortality.
A favourable workplace is more successful over time because it increases positive emotions and well-being. This, in turn, improves people’s relationships with each other and amplifies their skills and their creativity. It buffers against negative experiences like stress, thus improving workers’ ability to bounce back from difficulties and challenges while strengthening their health. And, it attracts workers, making them more loyal to the leader, to the organization as well as bringing out their best strengths.
When organizations go to the effort of developing a positive culture, they reach much higher levels of organisational effectiveness, and this includes better financial performance, higher customer satisfaction, higher productivity, and employee participation.