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The Silent Guardian of a Company’s Work Culture: The Ombuds

In today's world, culture reigns supreme. Employees have ceased to be mere cogs in the forever-in-motion organisational wheel. Today’s corporate world has and still is experiencing a (much-needed) shift, one that was long overdue. From viewing the workforce only as resources to now seeing them as people with aspirations, dreams and vulnerabilities, we have certainly come a long way.

Fostering a sense of community and nurturing the company’s culture has become a top priority for employers across the world and sectors. And as this shift continues, organisations are realising that people are the cornerstone for enduring success, not just numbers.

The efficiency provided by a truly people-first workforce will be far better, much more sustainable than any datasets or algorithms could create for you.

Amidst the transition that the work world is undergoing, comes the possibility of building something good – better if you will. Moreover, the responsibility is also to uphold and raise the standards of work-life consistently.

And that’s where the Culture Ombudsperson (or Ombuds for short) comes in. 

So, what exactly can they do?

Stick with us as we dive in!

As a walking-talking example of all things fair, an Ombuds embodies the ethos of the modern workplace and strives to build an environment that echoes empathy, ethics, rationality, and efficiency in every decision, no matter what kind.

Riding the Cultural Wave - The Ombuds Way

In a world where competition and profits are prioritised (yes, still), the Ombuds know that people and efficiency must go hand-in-hand. As the unspoken guardian of a company’s people and culture, they ensure that every voice is justly heard and every conflict is resolved the right way. 

  • The Gap Analysis: Enabled by their expertise and sense of objectivity, the Ombudsperson dives deep into the very fabric of organisations. By carefully analysing existing policies and operations, they pick out discrepancies and specific areas that need attention. In order to bridge the gap between desired standards and current practices, the framework includes scrutinising decision-making processes, leadership communication styles and conflict management methods. By bearing in mind the larger picture and comprehensively assessing the various parts that make it, the Ombudsperson will share advice on how the organisation in question can re-strategise to foster a fair and transparent culture. 

  •  The Bridge of Support: The Cultural Ombudsperson makes sure every team member feels valued and connected by prioritising team-building exercises and facilitating open communication channels. Because in an era where the terms remote and hybrid commonly follow the word work, fostering a sense of belonging makes the right kind of difference. Take for instance the Edtech sector where employee layoffs in recent years have made headlines all around. In this scenario, the Ombuds team can provide employees with a safe space to voice their concerns through professional counselling sessions. Additionally, they can also use tools such as innovative surveys to gather insight about the root of their grievances. Being a mediator for both employer and employees, the Ombudsperson could help facilitate conflict resolution, investigate grievances, and ensure fair treatment prevailed in an otherwise challenging time. 

  • The Well-being Champion: An organisation is only as good as its people. This is a fact the Ombuds abide by and does justice to through policies and programs curated to provide comprehensive support for all employees. This in turn, helps every employee bring their best self to work. In the advertising industry for example, where working overtime is used synonymously with ‘good’ work, an Ombudsperson can offer employees guidance on how they can best optimise their emotional well-being at work and point them in the direction of mental health resources should the case warrant the same. 

  • The DEI Advocate: Diversity, Inclusion and Equity are more than just buzzwords for companies to throw around. Being cognizant of the role DEI plays not just in a company’s narrative but also in influencing employee experiences, the Ombuds proactively promote awareness and understanding through training sessions and diversity initiatives. This is done to ensure that all policies and practices are designed to be inclusive of all employees. Consider the entertainment industry where diversity isn’t the norm it should be yet. Here, an Ombudsperson can support all individuals by facilitating open dialogues around inclusivity and representational issues to promote a culture of equal opportunity where everyone can thrive. Their expertise in this area can also be helpful to employers in bettering their internal communication channels and forging better relationships with their employees.

  • The Ethics Bodyguard: Ethical integrity is a non-negotiable. To ensure that a company abides by the same, an Ombuds team carries out impartial investigations and provides necessary guidance into ethical concerns and dilemmas to preserve the correct ethical standards throughout the organisation. Like in the NBFC (Non-Banking Finance Company) sector, for example, an Ombuds’ role becomes crucial due to issues such as non-adherence to FPCs and lack of transparency in loan and other contracts. By integrating the Ombuds right from the creation of company policies to ensuring awareness for adherence, this sector can leverage the Ombuds’ expertise and guidance to address ethical gaps, which will strengthen their relationship with their most vital asset - their customers. 

This is what makes the Ombuds team indispensable.

While prioritising culture as a foundation might be the corporate world’s saving grace, we’re lucky to have reached a time where we’ve got designated teams and individuals armed and at the ready to assist. Because truth be told, as we navigate the complexities of modern life and workplaces, we do need all the help we can get.

After all, it’s how a truly equitable society is built – through conscious effort and the right kind of support.


Psst! This blog was made with💚 and created after some thought by a real person.#NoGenerativeAI


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