3 Ways corporate culture can make you look sick


How well do you feel in your job? We all know that a job that causes stress can lead to sickness. But can your corporate culture influence how you look?

Throughout my work with clients and organisations, I have identified three ways your company culture can make you look sick.

1. Values and Purpose

Working for an organisation with a corporate culture based on values you don’t share can cause significant stress. For example, you will experience stress if you value spending time with your family and you have a job that requires you to travel 80% of the time.

There is another way that values and purpose can make an impact—on career development path or if you don’t feel valued—also a lack of management’s commitment to the values and purpose of the organisation.

2. Your corporate culture generates negativity

There is a reason why positive psychology is gaining traction. Positivity is good for you; it attracts positivity. Can you imagine working in an organisation where the energy is negative? Negativity can manifest and grow in different ways.

In his book, “Power vs Force”, David R Hawkins describes different energy levels and relates them to emotions. He also applies them to organisations.

You find shame, misery, guilt, and blame at the lower end of the energy scale. You can find these characteristics in organisations (as well as individuals) that operate in a negative energy field. Towards the positive end of the scale, you find harmony, acceptance and understanding, characteristics of well-functioning companies and individuals. Beyond that, you find peace and enlightenment at the positive end.

3. Misalignment of personality and duties.

During a workshop I gave in healthcare, we measured if attendants were people-focused or task-focused. To my surprise, 95% of attendees registered as task-focused. I had thought that most nurses would be people-oriented. I reason that when you become a nurse, you want to care for people. It raised a question: Can people-focused individuals, through education, become ‘task-focused’?

An article on 16personalities.com sheds some light on this. The article’s premise is that you can’t change your personality but can change behaviours or adopt different characteristics.

I have seen in health care that many people lack the energy and radiance you expect from healthy people. I believe you can change how a person works, but this causes stress if it is not aligned with the underlying personality.

In Conclusion

Not only does stress cause your body to go into a state of fight and flight, but also directing vital energy and resources from maintaining psychical homeostasis causes a physical imbalance. Illness and disease are often related to chronic stress caused by negative corporate culture.