We have long been interested in corporate cultures and their dynamics.
Some organizations are definitely more successful than others, especially in highly uncertain environments (VUCA). At Esséré, we have often asked ourselves this question: what is the best performing culture for tomorrow’s world? The one that focuses on maximizing the financial performance of the organization (profit, growth, innovation) or the one that focuses on maximizing the human experience at work (well-being, personal and professional fulfillment, gratification, sense of collective adventure…)?
Today, our conviction, supported by our experience and by numerous academic studies, is that the two are totally compatible. There is a positive correlation between a positive human experience and overall organizational performance.
Today, we want to talk about a research topic: the POS “Perceived Organizational Support (1) or Supportive Organization.
The name captures this concept: how much I feel that my company values my contribution and cares about me.
WHAT DOES A SUPPORTIVE ORGANISATION MEAN ?
Numerous studies conducted by various research teams in different industries show the positive correlation between POS and
- job performance,
- extra-role activity (outside the job description),
- employee retention,
- low influence of negative co-worker behaviors,
- shared values,
- trust in the organization.
Risks can be taken on behalf of the organization without fear of being exploited.
Conversely, a negative correlation was clearly established between SOP and mental health at work (work stress, burnout and work-life balance).
The caring, approval, and respect connotes by POS should fulfill socioemotional needs, leading employees to incorporate organizational membership and role status into their social identity (2).
Finally, research suggests that in addition to the top-down in”uence of the organizational hierarchy, POS results from the organizational community within which employees are embedded through their social network in the workplace (3): this is what we can call a sense of belonging.
HOW TO INCREASE THE PERCEPTION THAT THE ORGANISATION SUPPORTS ITS EMPLOYEES
Research as clearely demonstrated (4) that workers tend to perceive organizational support when there is congruence between individual and organizational values, when they are not overworked, and when the organization recognizes their efforts, their contribution and provides a fair and collaborative work environment.
There are several ways to make employees perceive that the organization cares about their well-being and values their contributions:
- inspiring and supportive leadership,
- the practice of equity,
- person-centered HR practices
- good working conditions (health and safety)
- concern for work-life balance,
- Investing in the quantity, density and quality of human relations in the company (4).
Also, the higher the hierarchical level of a person, the more influence he or she has on the POS… in positive and negative ways.
FOR US AT ESSÉRÉ
Organizational research shows us that a Supportive Organization creates a culture of performance, fostering trust, off-the-job initiative and commitment. These are capabilities that catalyze the transformation of the organization.
For Esséré, the organization must be sufficiently supportive (note that this is a perception) to start, support and sustain a “deep” transformation of the identity and processes of a company.
For this purpose, we have developed a unique leadership program, based on and measuring the Quiet Ego of managers/leaders, the Psychological Safety of teams and a Supportive Organization.
1 – Perceived Organizational Support, Eisenberger, Huntington, Hutchison, & Sowa, 1986
2 – Perceived Organizational Support: A Review of the Literature, Linda Rhoades and Robert Eisenberger, 2002 by the American Psychological Association
3 – With a little help from my colleagues: A social embeddedness approach to perceived organizational support, James Haton & al., 2012
4 – Le rôle du soutien organisationel perçu dans la santé mentale au travail : le contexte organisationnel en question, Kanwal, Fizza & al. 2019
5 – With a little help from my colleagues: A social embeddedness approach to perceived organization support, Hayton, Carnabuci, Eisenberg, 2013