Businesspeople dancing in lobby

Recently, a friend sent me a Harvard Business Review blog that helped me think about how I can make my office a truly great place to come to work.

The opening paragraph of the blog was particularly striking:

More than 100 studies have now found that the most engaged employees — those who report they’re fully invested in their jobs and committed to their employers — are significantly more productive, drive higher customer satisfaction and outperform those who are less engaged.

But only 20 percent of employees around the world report that they’re fully engaged at work.

When I read, and re-read it, I kept thinking about how important the need to understand people is – how to motivate them, engage them, and influence them. This is not just important in helping them manage their energy (instead of their time), but also in creating an office culture and environment that will enable employees to be happy and make the office a great place to work!

So how do we do this, especially if we are in a position to influence organisational behaviour?

According to Tony Schwartz, we can create a great place to work by (abridged):

  • Commit to paying every employee a living wage.
  • Give all employees a stake in the company’s success.
  • Design working environments that are safe, comfortable and appealing to work in.
  • Provide healthy, high quality food, at the lowest possible prices, including in vending machines.
  • Create places for employees to rest and renew during the course of the working day and encourage them to take intermittent breaks.
  • Offer a well equipped gym and other facilities that encourage employees to move physically and stay fit.
  • Define clear and specific expectations for what success looks like in any given job.
  • Institute two-way performance reviews.
  • Hold leaders and managers accountable for treating all employees with respect and care.
  • Create policies that encourage employees to set aside time to focus without interruption on their most important priorities.
  • Provide employees with ongoing opportunities and incentives to learn, develop and grow.
  • Stand for something beyond simply increasing profits.

The colours are my perception of how these 12 points coincide with the 4 Emergenetics thinking preferences and are in line with what we have always believed – that if we approach any issue with a whole brain approach (or what we call the WEapproach), we will consistently generate more innovative and productive solutions.

Perhaps it is time to incorporate the science of understanding human beings into the art of managing them and the environment we work in…. and with that, another blog comes to mind – Lessons Learned from Inc 5000 – where the biggest lesson learnt was about the power of people:

“Organizations are getting it—the bottom line starts with a top-line focus on human capital.”

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