I’ve been a corporate bod for pretty much half of my working life, the other half I spent trying to ascertain what my role is in the world, what my strengths are and where my passion lies. I’ve been really lucky in that my professional journey has, so far, been a magical expedition of learning and adventure peppered with a healthy dose of both failure and success. I’ve been blessed to meet people from all walks of life across all industries and have gleaned so much from each and every one of them. Thankyou all for the lessons, whether positive or negative, they were all needed.
I started to write The Human Workplace Manifesto 3 years ago. It was idea borne from the thousands of hours spent training leaders, helping companies grow and coaching the humans behind the job titles.
It provides a framework for positive change across the corporate world and recognises the key motivations of the workforce and the urgent change our planet demands if we are to preserve it. The age of industrialisation is over and so is the traditional 9-5 model of working. We must explore new ways of working and look at companies that are successfully disrupting and dismantling the old school approach for more robust and sustainable model that works for everyone.
The Human Workplace Manifesto challenges organisations to commit to change for good. Whether it’s to create a coaching culture that puts people at the heart of or creation of purpose driven workplace that increases pride and passion that makes a positive impact on the world.
It’s a practical guide to getting things moving and can be driven not only by CEO’s, HR Directors, Founders and Leaders but also, for the workforce that demand to work in a company that aligns it’s values to that of The Human Workplace Manifesto.
The 8 key activators can be used to audit and effect change.
It provides a model for Corporate Sustainable development that can be implemented and measured in any organisation.
The principles are :-
PEOPLE – LET ME BRING MY WHOLE SELF INTO THE WORKPLACE
Value diversity and pioneer inclusion. In an increasingly globalised world, international mobility is a fact of life so it’s time to learn how to co-create and harness cross cultural differences.
Understanding how to value diversity in the work place creates a harmonious working environment.
We all want to work in a world where the people in our supplier and value chain are acknowledged and respected.
Understanding people and having high levels of empathy and compassion are crucial to this.
In her thesis on “Organisational Compassion – why should anyone care?” (Henley Business School, MSc Behavioural Change) Kirstie Papworth of Tangerinethistle.com found :-
- Compassion increases feelings of self-worth, and reduces anxiety and depression.
- People who are compassionate are healthier and more resistant to illness.
- When people feel that their organisation is compassionate, individual levels of Affective Commitment increase – this results in lower staff turnover rates, improved job performance, and higher job satisfaction.
- Self-compassion has been shown to increase psychological wellbeing, to act as a buffer against anxiety, and to reduce depressive symptoms.
In organisations, when we see acts of compassion it creates a state of ‘elevation’, which is uplifting for everyone around us.
“Proof indeed that it is the soft skills that have the hardest impact in the workplace”.
TOOLS TO CREATE UNDERSTANDING AND EMPATHY AT WORK
Lumina spark provides the latest profiling tool that enables individuals, teams and organisations to create a common language of respect and empathy. It’s a perfect starting point for any company looking to an inclusive and kind organisation based on truthful dialogue and trust.
Lumina Spark inspires people to develop skills most needed in the workplace – adaptability, agility, a growth mind-set, partnering, authenticity and the ability to lead ones-self and others. It provides three lenses that assess your underlying persona, your everyday persona, and your overextended persona (the behaviours you display under pressure).
It’s language and marketing materials make it both sticky and memorable and easy to implement in any organisation.
*Lumina Spark Mandala
I WANT TO WORK TO MY STRENGTHS AND DEVELOP EVERY DAY.
Coaching cultures and flat-hierarchy organisations have flourished over the last 20 years.
Karin Telenius, founder of Tuff Leadership Training, believes that employees today need and want to work within a culture of “partnership”, and what we might call adult-adult relationships. I believe that they need, and want, to feel that their company’s business “is theirs”, and that they have responsibility for it. We also believe that this is essential to the future efficiency and profitability of our client companies and organisations. Attitudes towards leadership and employeeship must, and will change. It’ll take time, and it’ll often be painful. We call this coaching leadership and a coaching culture.
Their philosophy is that “All people have power and ability. All people can progress and succeed when they are free to make active, conscious choices. People’s actions are ultimately shaped by their choice of outlook and attitude.” We firmly agree with this philosophy.
HOW DOES MY WORK MAKE A DIFFERENCE
All evidence points in the direction of purpose driven workplaces. The Deloitte engagement survey shows that 73% of employees who say they work at a “purpose-driven” company are engaged, compared to just 23% of those who don’t.
Deloitte defines a purpose-driven company as one that has “an important objective that creates meaningful impact for stakeholders”.
47% of executives strongly agree that they can identify with their company’s purpose, compared to just 30% of employees. Make sure your employees understand your WHY and their own.
Jasmine Galindo, Employer Branding Specialist at Tobii Dynavox has experience personally of being motivated by working for a company that truly makes a difference to peoples lives. That feeling is echoed across the business. In their most recent employee engagement survey over 82% of respondents expressed personal pride for working in such a purpose driven organisation.
Just part of their work involves a range of tools that individuals with intellectual disability can use to overcome communication challenges, develop language and literacy skills, make choices, speak their minds and fully participate in life.
Their products support several key areas of needs, including:
- Communication and language development.
- Cognitive skills development
- Positive behaviour support
- Social skills development
CATCH ME DOING THE RIGHT THING
Recognition is an important part of any human interaction. Humans love to be appreciated and recognised for their effort and hard work. In the workplace this takes place in the form of positive feedback for a job well done. It allows employees to see their part in the bigger picture and feel an increased sense of connection to their work, their colleagues, and management.
THE SPEED OF CHANGE IS AT AN ALL TIME HIGH AND IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO KNOW EVERYTHING IN SUCH A RAPIDLY DEVELOPING WORLD.
We are constantly drowning in information and starved of wisdom.
That’s why we believe it’s crucial to create a work environment where it is safe to fail, to learn faster, and to adapt.
Equally, it’s important that every human can bring their whole self into the workplace and is given an opportunity to grow and voice their own ideas and opinions.
Giving clear opportunities for growth and progression is a key component to a healthy workplace. Setting realistic goals, implementing simple feedback mechanisms, learning experience, and skills development for talented employees all contribute to employee motivation and therefore retention.
NEW MORE FLUID AND INTERESTING MODELS OF WORK ARE EMERGING AND WHAT’S MORE THEY ARE CREATING HUGE SUCCESSES FOR THE COMPANIES BRAVE ENOUGH TO CHALLENGE THE NORM.
One such example is ROWE™- The Results Only Work Environment
It is a solid business platform that soon gained enormous global traction, successfully launching the contemporary work culture that infuses equal amounts of autonomy and accountability.
Jody Thompson co-creator of the system and owner of consultation company Culture RX explains the concept.
ROWE IS ADAPTIVE CHANGE.
Transitioning to a ROWE requires giving up deeply held beliefs about the way work should happen. It requires removing the punch clock from your DNA. It’s uncomfortable because it attacks everything about work and the workplace we hold to be true. Like knowing everyone’s availability and the importance of physical face time. And what trust looks like. Team building. Collaboration. Goal-setting.
In a ROWE, each person is 100% accountable and 100% autonomous. Each and every person. Sales people. Receptionists, Call centre associates, Bus drivers, Zookeepers, Accountants and any of those corporate roles.
In a ROWE, no results = no job. It’s the workplace for adults. And it doesn’t discriminate. Everyone’s ‘in’ and nobody’s ‘out’.
So what are the benefits?
“The freedom, employees say, is changing their lives. They don’t know if they work fewer hours — they’ve stopped counting — but they are more productive. That’s welcome news for a company that hopes its employees will give it a competitive edge”
— TIME MAGAZINE
HOW CAN WE IMPROVE OUR SUSTAINABILITY, MEASURE OUR ACTIONS AND IMPACT?
For a long time CSR and Sustainability were buzz words that companies carefully courted or danced around. They were words on a wall but we didn’t know what to do with them.
As individuals we must accept our part and create change in our own environment and we all need to start today.
I recently had a call with my bank and I asked them for proof that I had been a client of theirs for 6 years. They offered to send me 300, yes, 300 printed pages of statements as they didn’t have the processes to send me one email. Unbelievable in a time where consumption is literally killing the planet! As clients, employees, employers and stakeholders, we need to challenge this behaviour, to put the stick in the ground and demand better. I have emailed both their CSR Manager and the finance contact to ask them to change this antiquated system and approach.
Perhaps they’ve posted a response, let’s wait and see.
IT’S TIME WE ASKED HOW CAN WE GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITIES WE OPERATE IN?
We’ve all read the news about International companies hop, skip and jumping through tax loopholes here and there. The profits normally being invested in overseas enitites that goes nowhere near the communities that need it most. If an organisation benefits by doing business in a country or city, it has a duty of care to act with a conscience.
Whether it’s supporting local grass roots projects or funding a school in the locality, even giving employees time to work voluntarily helps to develop a better world for everyone.