INCLUSIVE LEADERSHIP REDUCING THE RISKS OF PSYCHOSOCIAL HAZARDS AT WORK
Research by the Edith Cowan University demonstrates that an inclusive leadership style is synonymous with demonstrating openness, flexibility, and availability; promoting individuals’ uniqueness and sense of belonging and viewing mistakes as opportunities for learning and growth, as opposed to cause for criticism.
WHAT IS MEANINGFUL WORK
Meaningful work is defined as the degree to which employees assess and perceive the value or relevance of their work and it is said to be found the “most important aspect” of jobs, “since a substantial portion of people’s adult life is spent at work, and if the work is meaningful, it can benefit them, their employer and society”, according to the research team at Judith Cowan University. Further, it’s been found to enhance individual and organisational performance with 220% (Josh Bersin) more likely to be meeting their financial targets, providing a $2.30 ROI for wellbeing, according to PwC.
BENEFITS AND REPORTED OUTCOMES
The benefits of an inclusive leadership style increases engagement levels by 8x (World Economic Forum) and reduces levels absenteeism in the workplace by 6x (Safe Work Australia). Employees are 2x as likely consider their workplaces as “great places to work” (Josh Bersin).
The researchers at Judith Cowan University (Azadeh Shafaei and Mehran Nejati) tested their theories by asking more than 300 full time Australian employees questions about their manager’s leadership style and about their own psychological safety; their attitude towards mistakes at work; and the extent to which they considered their work meaningful. The results reinforced the hypothesis, showing the total effect of inclusive leadership on meaningful work was significant, as was the association between inclusive leadership and psychological safety; and the relationship between inclusive leadership and learning from errors.
EMPLOYEES MUST FEEL SAFE TO TAKE RISKS AT WORK
The researchers obtained further information via a second study that compared responses to fictional scenarios involving inclusive and non-inclusive leaders.
Analysis of these responses showed people with an inclusive leader were 2.5x more likely to find their job activities “personally meaningful to them”, 7.4x more likely to think it would be safe to take a risk in their organisation, and 2.7x more likely to think mistakes would help them to improve their work.
“Having the opportunity to express their opinions and being valued for their perspectives, contributions and attributions help employees enhance their meaning-making-capabilities which ultimately result in experiencing more meaningful work.”
Other studies shown that inclusive leadership shape an organisations culture and “help employees to learn the expected behaviours relevant to the culture and its underlying values”. Such leaders have also been found to cultivate high-quality relationships in the workplace based on trust that can foster collaboration and cooperation.
References: Culture Amp May 2023 and HR Daily June 2023