When work goes wrong

When work goes wrong

Life at work does not always run smoothly – when it goes wrong, it can have devastating and unseen effects not only on individuals but also on the business as a whole.

We support and develop organisational capabilities to get work right when it matters most.


Organisations experiencing tension and conflict are often forced to deal with an inbox full of internal complaints and grievances. Not only is this highly disruptive, it’s also expensive and time-consuming. If left over time, grievances and complaints can become a dysfunctional way of communicating among staff, revealing what is increasingly described as a culture of bullying and harassment.


Bullying and harassment
All too frequently a culture of bullying and harassment can show itself in a workforce:

  • governed by fear – not willing to speak up or keep others accountable
  • sown with disengagement – with a growing disrespect for authority, suffering performance and skyrocketing rate of absenteeism

When disputes or difficulties are located in individuals, there is a real and practical need to resolve these issues quickly. While we may offer specialist mediation to seek resolution, what we often find is that individual or team disputes can be indicative of a bigger problem in the system.

Our strength at Tavistock Consulting lies in offering a multi-layered approach to what can be a complex and endemic problem. Using a combination of diagnostic tools, we widen our attention from the individual(s) to look at the context of the whole organisation and seek to understand what’s actually going on underneath this culture of conflict.

  • Is there an unhealthy divide between management and ground-level staff?
  • What’s it really like to work in the organisation at the present time?
  • What recent or historical changes have taken place that might have sown seeds of unease or discontent in the staff?

Changing the culture of an organisation does not happen overnight and quick-fix solutions simply do not exist. It is necessary to consider wider organisational issues to set a real and sustainable shift in motion and to bring about lasting change in the behaviours and attitudes across the workforce.

pdf-small  Supporting mental well-being in the workplace


A crisis at work
A sudden crisis can have a shocking and devastating effect on an organisation.
Such a crisis could include the sudden death or suicide of a work colleague, a serious incident involving a service user, patient or client, or any other unexpected event that has a serious impact on the whole organisation and its staff. The implications can be far-reaching in ways that may not be anticipated from the outset.

In the public sectors, serious clinical incidents can be devastating. In situations when the necessary legal investigation can come to dominate, staff can feel paralysed, blamed and under scrutiny. The human factor can be forgotten and the opportunity to understand, analyse and learn from the event is lost.

Tavistock consultants act at the heart of the crisis: the psychological impact of organisational crisis and the resulting implications for staff and the service. Our phased approach is both immediate and long term. We move to swiftly respond to the needs of individuals and groups affected by the event, before commencing a bespoke set of short- and medium-term interventions that consider the wider and long-term implications for the organisation.

Please give us a call on +44 (0) 20 8938 2475 for a confidential conversation as to how we could support and develop organisational capabilities to get work right when it matters most.

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