“People don’t resist change. They resist being changed!”
– Peter Senge
As an agent of change, I am passionate about challenging the established norms and disrupting the status quo. I work within the confines of a hierarchical system in the government sector, but I have learned to prioritize self-care amidst the demands of my job. Meditation and yoga are integral practices that I turn to regularly to maintain my inner balance and vitality while pursuing transformational work within the government.
My colleague, a director in behavioral health, recently made a powerful statement in an email. He declared, "we work in a giant white supremacist bureaucracy."
Despite recognizing this fact, he is limited by the ingrained toxic culture and the overwhelming demands of his role as a director, leaving him with little room to focus on the crucial human aspect of our work.
A Brief Overview of Current Issues in the Workplace:
Restricted Communication Flow: A scheduled speaker event organized by the Behavioral Health Equity and Inclusion division was held back due to email approval from higher-ups. The email was supposed to be sent out on Friday but still hasn't been sent, causing disruption.
Remote Work Policy: Employees are eager to visit their families after a long time, due to COVID. There is confusion and disruption regarding the policy on remote work and whether it is allowed or not, and if so, under what conditions.
Meeting Structure: The meeting structures within government work, with their rigid hierarchical norms, are not only causing disruptive behavior, but are also leading to problematic practices that are doing more harm than good. The current state of these structures is indicative of a deeper issue that must be addressed if we hope to achieve meaningful and lasting change.
Confidential Meetings: The veil of secrecy shrouding certain gatherings within the workplace has negative implications that seep into the organizational culture, causing harm to its well-being and fostering a toxic environment. By maintaining confidentiality in such meetings, we perpetuate a harmful atmosphere that undermines the trust and cooperation essential for a thriving and productive workplace.
Lack of Focus on Culture and Strategy: The absence of meaningful conversations concerning the cultural and strategic aspects of the workplace is a pervasive problem that contributes to disruption. The preoccupation with policy and procedure, rather than strategic vision, perpetuates a culture that prioritizes routine over growth and innovation. By failing to focus on culture and strategy, the organization lacks a clear sense of direction, leaving employees feeling disengaged and unsure about the future.
Transparency Issues: Transparency is a vague term in the government sector, with many side conversations happening without the knowledge of others, causing chaos. This is a toxic work practice that causes stress and pressure on the employees.
In conclusion, the workplace culture needs to be transformed with a more iterative and inclusive approach, considering the psychological and emotional well-being of employees, even when they are away from their main work space.
The imposition of regulations that do not take into account the human element results in the subjugation of individuals, evidenced by the allocation of advantages based on rank, status, or even holiday observances. Such actions communicate a lack of faith and disregard for the needs and concerns of the workforce.
The ideal of equity in the workplace is a collaborative effort that embraces the individuality of each person and acknowledges their specific needs and circumstances. The recognition and understanding of diversity, in terms of the multitude of intersecting factors that shape each person's experience, is essential in creating a sense of inclusiveness. This inclusiveness is characterized by the equal respect and value accorded to every person, regardless of their differences, in the work environment.
The hierarchical structure and norms of government work are at odds with the principle of inclusion, as they perpetuate a system where certain individuals are granted more privileges and power based on their rank or status.
This system creates a divide between those at the top and those at the bottom, and reinforces the notion that some individuals are more valuable or important than others. This, in turn, results in an environment that is inherently exclusive, where certain individuals are excluded from opportunities and resources based on their position within the hierarchy. To truly cultivate an inclusive workplace, it is essential to challenge and disrupt the hierarchical structure and norms that perpetuate this exclusive environment.
From a perspective of transforming work culture, it is crucial to prioritize human well-being in times of disruption and decision-making. The work environment has a profound impact on individuals and their overall quality of life. When disruptions arise and decisions must be made, the consequences of these actions will affect the people working in the organization. Therefore, ensuring the well-being of the staff must be the top priority.
The priority on human well-being necessitates a comprehensive examination of the emotional, mental, and physical health of each and every individual, to ensure that their holistic well-being is safeguarded and nurtured in the face of persistent disruptions and challenging decisions.
It means creating a supportive and inclusive work environment, where everyone feels valued and heard. This can be achieved through a variety of methods, such as providing access to resources, fostering open communication, and promoting work-life balance.
In order to create a work culture that prioritizes human well-being, it is necessary to challenge the existing norms and practices. This requires a shift in focus from traditional hierarchical structures and the implementation of equitable, diverse, and inclusive practices.
By prioritizing human well-being, organizations can not only improve the quality of life for their employees, but also increase productivity, foster innovation, and create a positive reputation. Transforming work culture to prioritize human well-being is a journey, but it is one worth taking to create a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive work environment for all.
As a transformation enabler, my goal is to facilitate positive change and growth within organizations and communities.
I believe that by embracing transformation, we can create a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive society. This requires not just individual efforts, but a collective commitment to the process of growth and change. That's why I strongly encourage others to become transformation enablers as well.
By working together, we can create a more just and equitable world, where everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive and succeed. Whether through activism, education, or advocacy, there are many ways to get involved and make a difference. So I encourage everyone to take an active role in creating the world they want to live in and to become a transformation enabler themselves.
I suggest that if you have the opportunity to join a union in your workplace, do so and make use of your right to speak up.
Seek out education from sources devoid of capitalist interests, such as financial gain, control, or avarice.
Opt for knowledge that comes from individuals who embody genuine passion, bravery, and empathy in their teachings, as opposed to simply fulfilling a requirement or having an ulterior motive.
Embrace the teachings of those who possess lived experience in the field, as they bring a unique perspective and genuine understanding to the subject matter.
In conclusion, the need for a shift in the traditional approaches of workplace culture, structure, and norms cannot be overemphasized. With the world facing constant disruptions, it is imperative that we place the priority on human well-being by recognizing the emotional, mental, and physical health of each individual. The creation of rules and structures that oppress individuals must be reconsidered, and equity, diversity, and inclusion must be at the forefront of our efforts. The transformation of work culture requires collective effort, and as a transformation enabler, I encourage all individuals to become agents of change and promote the co-creation of a more humane, inclusive, and equitable work environment.