What would change in your organisation if every employee was thriving instead of striving?
On the surface such a question may sound odd as there is a positive connotation associated with both terms. If we pause and consider the words more carefully, there is an important distinction.
The term “strive” is defined as:
To try very hard to do something or to make something happen, especially for a long time or against difficulties
By comparison, “thrive” means:
To grow, develop or be successful
It’s true that sometimes circumstances require that individuals strive to reach a deadline or persevere in tough times. However, if they must consistently struggle to complete assignments, achieve goals and accomplish their career objectives, it will dampen morale, decrease engagement and increase attrition.
What Does Thriving Look Like?
In a flourishing environment, employees are encouraged to grow as professionals. Executives invest in their team members’ ongoing development, and personnel are invited to see each day as a learning opportunity. The focus on growth supports the job satisfaction of staff while also increasing their productivity, intent to stay at the company and capacity to accomplish company objectives, which has positive implications for the business’s overall performance.
Empowering workplaces are committed to supporting the success of their workforce. They are inclusive in that individuals are valued for their diverse strengths and teammates are appreciated for their insights. Workers are provided with the tools and training to collaborate effectively, and there are open feedback loops across the organisation.
Additionally, employees are appreciated as whole people. They feel encouraged to share their opinions, offer distinct perspectives and be authentic to who they are. When individuals can be themselves at work it leads to increased well-being, improved performance as well as enhanced career prospects.
At the heart of a thriving environment lies a strong sense of psychological safety, or the shared belief that it is appropriate to take risks, express ideas and concerns, speak openly and make mistakes. Psychological safety is absolutely essential for people to flourish.
How Can You Start to Build Psychological Safety?
Companies that cultivate psychological safety see 76% greater employee engagement, 50% increased productivity and a 67% higher probability that workers will apply new skills on the job.
To curate this environment, it is important to first reflect on how diverse perspectives, inputs and insights are valued as part of the company’s culture. Leaders may start by recognising the value that comes from creating a workplace where diversity is valued.
I invite executives to begin making a mindset shift by focusing on the art of communication.
#1 – Talk about Psychological Safety
Many individuals may not be familiar with the term or that it is something that leaders want to prioritise as part of the culture. Regularly reinforce the business’s commitment to creating an atmosphere where people can learn, grow and be themselves through all-hands meetings, company updates and chat channels.
#2 – Speak to Assets, Not Deficits
Sometimes, when mistakes are made or people approach their tasks differently than one might expect, negativity can come into the conversation. Practise using positive language and seeing differences as gifts. Using tools like Emergenetics® to reveal the strengths in diverse Thinking and Behavioural styles can be an excellent first step in embracing an asset-based mindset.
#3 – Ask Questions
Invite executives and managers to be curious. Rather than telling people what to do when situations arise, encourage them to ask questions to invite team members to consider alternative perspectives, reflect on their actions and invite learning moments throughout the day.
#4 – Reframe Mistakes
Errors will arise as part of business. Reframing missteps as learning opportunities can help every person in the company feel more comfortable being accountable. To take this recommendation a step further, practise asking staff what they learned and what they may do differently next time to help individuals realise that mistakes are part of the growth process.
#5 – Promote a Feedback Culture
Investing in tools and training to empower staff to give constructive inputs can support everyone in the workplace. When teammates have the capacity to share honest feedback, it allows personnel to help one another grow. It is also important that leaders reciprocate by asking for their employees’ ideas on what would improve the organisation through surveys and internal forums.
By taking proactive steps to promote psychological safety, leaders will create the foundation for a supportive, prosperous environment where workers feel valued. And, to help staff truly thrive, my next post will offer some more insights into ‘how’ leaders and employees can cultivate a culture of belonging.
Learn more about how Emergenetics can support you on your journey to a more inclusive workplace. Explore our website or fill out the form below to learn more!
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