I’ve nearly finished transcribing 12 hours of audio-recorded information, which will form the data corpus for my next couple of studies. I am examining the broad area of equality and overcoming barriers in the workplace from a psychological perspective. The data discusses issues from workplace flexibility for everyone through to gender pay gaps. I have to admit, listening and recording all the data has made me reflect on my own personal experiences in the various workplaces I have been in, most especially the ones I have been fortunate enough to be a part of this year.
Would I consider my PhD contract and environment as one of my workplaces? Although technically a student, in all conscience I would consider the PhD program as a job, as I receive a stipend and leave allocation, on top of the fact that I’m expected to be working on my research every day from 9 to 5. Although very grateful for the basic living allowance, I’ve also had to top up my income with casual and part-time work when I can get it. This year I was very grateful to receive some extra hours of work at the university and as a researcher for an external non-for-profit national organisation.
Some of my peers ask me how I manage it all. I cannot claim any achievements on my own. What I realized is that my personal success is tied to some degree to the support I receive from my colleagues, my supervisory panel, my direct managers, and the values of the organisation I am working in. This year has been a particularly challenging year, personally. I have had to make the difficult decision to resign from my various jobs as I would not be able to physically come to the office to work for a while. I prepared what I was going to say to my managers and supervisors. I prepared myself emotionally, too, as I knew I was disappointing people. Their response was something I did not anticipate. Not only did they offer a means for me to continue working despite the circumstances, but they also demonstrated the values they have around creating productive workplaces that care for employee wellbeing.
In supportive workplaces, managers not only appreciate productive hard work, but they also cultivate growth and assist their employees. In turn, workers like me are loyal and develop greater trust, not only with their bosses, but in the value of the work they contribute to. Supportive workplaces remind you that each one’s success is the success of the team too.