The relationship between psychological well-being in the Covid-19 pandemic and organizational processes for sustainable development
Abstract: Psychological employee well-being is a severe challenge for companies around the world. The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated the problem and forced companies to act to ensure a healthy and productive workforce. Based on the Job Demands-Resources Model (JD-R), this study examines the leader's perspective on how decision making, and communication processes have been altered in the face of the pandemic and how these alterations can promote the advancement of psychological well-being. Another central research focus is the impact of the changes in decision making and communication processes on the sustainable development of the organization. The relatively new perspective of the Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development (PoS&SD) is applied to investigate these questions. A qualitative approach was chosen and a total of ten organizations were studied, half in Sweden and half in Germany. With the support of semi-structured interviews, leaders of small and medium-sized organizations in both countries were interviewed, and their perceptions were explored. The results showed that almost all companies in the study implemented changes to the two processes because they perceived deterioration in employee psychological well-being. While most leaders in Sweden indicated that they had given employees more autonomy throughout the pandemic, leaders in Germany reported a greater desire for direction and structure. The communication style likewise required adjustment to meet the new way of working and employees’ needs. Finally, it could be shown that the topic of employees’ psychological well-being will take on a higher priority in many companies in the wake of the pandemic. This is partially since companies have recognized that the fostering of psychological well-being is closely linked to sustainable development.
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