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In recent years, the concept of social capital has begun to spread in various workplaces. It is a keyword in relation to the working environment. But what is the importance of social capital for your company and what tools can you work with to improve social capital?
In this article, we will make you more aware of what the concept of social capital entails and how you can work with social capital in your workplace.
Social capital is the invisible value in strong internal working relationships. There is also a connection between social capital and economic growth. Social capital can result in:
How is social capital created? Social capital in working environment research is defined as "The characteristic which enables the organisation's members to jointly solve its core task."
It requires cooperation, trust and justice to solve the company's core tasks, which is why the three characteristics are the cornerstones of social capital in the organisation.
Employees and managers learn to understand each other's situation when they work together. They gain insight into each other's tasks, and thus develop skills, norms and values for collaboration in the workplace. This contributes to both managers and employees being better equipped to solve the workplace's core tasks.
However, it should be noted that it is not the individual employee's ability to work together that matters when it comes to social capital in the company. The term covers the overall ability of the workplace to work together and coordinate its activities.
Collaboration can occur in different relationships:
It requires a balance between the three different relationships if the social capital in the company is to be high.
Trust in the company is about trust between the employees, between management and employees and between the managers themselves. Studies point out that trust in the workplace for example has an impact on the quality of work, employee satisfaction and employee health. Furthermore, trust plays a decisive role when new ideas are to be executed in the organisation.
In connection with social capital, trust acts are about:
Trust can be established in various ways, for example through responsiveness, transparency, recognition of other people's qualities and competences and consistency between what is said and what is done.
Justice is a subjective quantity, but in the end it is about the fact that there is a perception that everything is going properly.
For a number of employees, fairness may be about the distribution of benefits, but for others it is about the process around the distribution of the benefits or tasks. When managers or employees experience fairness, the willingness and desire to cooperate typically increases.
There are a number of measures the company can work with if it wants to promote the experience of justice, for example:
Social capital gives a fresh impetus to work within the working environment. Traditionally, many have linked the psychological working environment closely to the characteristics of the job itself, for example there has been talk of the working environment of office workers or social workers. Social capital, on the other hand, focuses on elements that promote or hinder a healthy working environment in the individual workplace, regardless of the characteristics of the job itself.
A better mental working environment can be a side benefit of working with social capital. However, this does not mean that the workplace can only work with social capital to improve the psychological working environment.
You have now acquired an understanding of what the concept of social capital entails. As previously mentioned, there are also factors other than social capital that play an essential role in the workplace and in the psychological working environment. Examples of this can be the amount of work or the content of the work. If you would like to read more about the working environment in the workplace, you can take a look here:
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