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Beyond The 9 To 5 – How Work Cultures Shape Our Lives

Written by: Mykella Auld, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Mykella Auld

With many of us spending a third of our life at work what happens during the 9-5 work hours impacts the rest of our life. How does that make you feel? If you feel your heart rate increase, let’s explore why that might be!

Group of people sitting around table working

In 1964 the “Anger Transference” visual from Richard Sargen was published. It displayed a social commentary on the emotional displacement from a boss to an employee, from an employee to a partner, from a partner to a child, and from a child to a pet. This image shows clearly the role that our organizations play in creating, perpetuating, and sustaining our cultural norms.

Now, sixty years later this visual is just as relevant and this commentary is worth further exploration. Our workplace cultures inform how we show up in our relationships, what behavior and values we normalize for our youth, how we treat ourselves, and how we expect others to treat us in our day-to-day life.

New data from a UKG Study suggests that for almost 70% of people, their manager has more impact on their mental health than their therapist or their doctor, and it's equal to the impact of their partner. This is sobering data for our quality of life. When we combine this number with the fact that the average employee in most western countries will work about 9,000 hours in their lifetime, (that’s roughly one third our life times) we see why our organizational cultures are so important.

Invest in a culture of well-being

These historical and current realities create a sense of urgency to prioritize healthy, strong, and human-centered work cultures. Here are some actions leaders can take:

Take bold steps to nurture a culture of well-being and equity. Invest in specialized leadership coaching that transcends traditional models, empowering leaders to foster trust and psychological safety through an intersectional, social and emotional development, trauma-informed, community building and restorative lens. This commitment will navigate diversity, equity, and belonging challenges, championing a culture that cherishes and uplifts every employee.

Equity-centric culture audit

Revolutionize your workplace culture through an equity-focused lens. Conduct a dynamic culture audit that dissects your organization's alignment with innovation, equity, and well-being principles. Engage your team in this transformative process to ensure an insightful and responsive analysis, shaping an approach to employee and organizational health that stands as a beacon of inclusivity.

A culture audit provides a snapshot assessment of the health of an organization. An audit of this nature focuses on the organization's ability to be innovative, the organization’s current psychological safety, trauma informed, and harm education practices. Assessing an organization's commitment to and current ability to invest in staff and teams as multi-dimensionsional actors in the organization is a necessary effort to drive an effective culture.

Strategic culture shifts

Engage in strategic cultural shifts to embrace holistic well-being. Co-create a systemic approach, dismantling detrimental practices, and commit to sustained action under trustworthy leadership. Integrate comprehensive well-being priorities into daily operations, continually gauge effectiveness through key performance indicators and employee feedback. This iterative improvement aligns seamlessly with the ever-changing needs of your dynamic workforce.

Taking a holistic approach to workplace wellbeing, it is not about physical fitness or eating well. It is about the enjoyment, satisfaction and ability to grow and thrive as they see best for themselves within the organization they work with. This requires leaders to understand “Wellbeing” as encompassing all the things that are important to each of us and how we experience our lives. Investing in wellbeing strategies from this lens directly impacts organizations in a number of ways:

  1. Equitable employee engagement strategies

  2. Ability grow and sustain a psychologically safe culture

  3. Attraction and retention of talent

  4. Attraction and retention of partners, clients, and customer

  5. Success in meeting performance deadlines

  6. Decrease sick days, burn out and insurance costs associated

  7. And ultimately the financial bottom line!

The imperative to prioritize organizational well-being has never been more crucial, given the profound impact of workplace cultures on the holistic health of individuals. Implementing holistic strategies that prioritize values, systemic approaches, and employee well-being, fostering a workplace culture that not only thrives but also contributes positively to the broader success of people’s lives.

Ready to take the next step? Help drive organizational innovation with a customized leadership and culture strategy for your organization using our research backed models. Available coaching and technical assistance topics include organizational well-being, leadership development,equity diversity inclusion and belonging, and psychologically safe organizational culture strategies to contribute to the overall thriving of individuals and communities. Mykella invites readers to join her in making 2024 the year of personal and professional well-being.

Follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

Mykella Auld Brainz Magazine

Mykella Auld, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Mykella Auld, M.Ed., is a pioneering thought leader in organizational culture and leadership. As the Founder and Executive Coach of Culture and leadership at The Work Well Studio, she propels organizations toward psychologically safe, equitable cultures prioritizing well-being and belonging. A culture strategist and equity advocate, Mykella, empowers organizations through critical thinking and relationship-building. Rooted in her experience as a lead researcher and author, on best practices in practical applications for Trauma-Informed and Anti-Racist social emotional development. She is committed to sparking transformative change.



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