MHCC Psychological Injury Management Guide (PIMG)

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2.2: Positive Leadership and Culture

Since there is an established association between climate, leadership and psychological injury, they are considered together in the MHCC injury Management Guide.

2.2.1: Impact of Leadership and Cultural Behaviour

Leadership behaviour and work-team climate impact greatly on workplace wellbeing and organisational performance.

(Cotton 2012)

Impact of Leadership and Cultural Behaviours

Together, "empathy, clarity, engagement and learning" have been found to explain:

  • 80% of employee motivation & wellbeing
  •  25% of employee retention
  • 15% of absence cost
  • and organisational indicators (below)


(Cotton 2012)

2.2.2: Supportive Leadership


(Cotton 2012)

Supportive leadership is associated with:

  • higher employee morale
  • higher job satisfaction
  • less employee distress
  • higher discretionary performance over the long term
  • higher quality of work
  • less employee withdrawal behaviours

Of particular importance to injury management are:

  • empathy
  • engagement
  • learning
  • clarity

2.2.3: High-risk leadership styles

(Cotton 2009, 2012)

Liaissez-Faire Command & Control Popular Follow-the-Rule
  • Low support
  • Low clarity
  • Low engagement
  • Doesn't communicate views about important issues
  • Neglect feedback
  • Fails to follow up on requests for assistance
  • Avoids leadership responsibilities
  • High clarity
  • Low perceived support
  • Low engagement
  • Poor communication
  • Neglect of developmental feedback
  • Over-emphasis on corrective feedback
  • Perceived stigma about reporting personal problems
  • High support
  • Lower clarity
  • Focus on positive interpersonal relationships
  • Low focus on core business
  • Neglect performance management
  • Avoid tough conversations
  • Team vs corporate:'us and them' mentality
  • Strong focus on rules & procedures
  • Low perceived support
  • Reactive people focus
  • High clarity; everything is black or white
  • Low engagement
  • Under pressure, tighten adherence to the rule
  • Reluctance to report problems
Associated with:
  • Low discretionary effort
  • Low performance
  • Increased withdrawal behaviours
  • Team dysfunction
  • Low discretionary effort
  • Low innovation
  • Increased withdrawal behaviours
  • Fear, intimidation
  • Conflict
  • Short-term high discretionary effort
  • Entrenched negative behaviours
  • Change fallout
  • Organisational cynicism
  • Low discretionary effort
  • Low innovation
  • Increased withdrawal behaviours
  • Harassment
  • Conflict

2.2.4: Impact of leadership and cultural behaviours on employee wellbeing and distress

According to Cotton (2012), certain leadership and cultural behaviours impact on employee wellbeing and distress:


2.2.5: Leadership behaviour, climate and workers compensation premiums

(Cotton 2009)