Workspace for human beings…

Sharing this article from Forbes, Leadership

Leaders want to know how to unlock the immense power that is trapped under layers of sludge in their organizations.

People come to work wanting to care. It’s more interesting to work on things you care about than things you don’t.

We make it hard for people to care about their work. We punish them for caring.

When people try to grow their flames at work, stepping ever-so-slightly outside the lines to get creative or putting their stamp on a process or a project or a customer relationship, the words “Just do it the usual way” spring too quickly to our lips.

At work, we love uniformity and hate variation. That’s a huge problem, because people aren’t machines.

They don’t get excited about routine, and who can blame them? Hitting a new number pasted on a chart on the wall is not exciting to them.

You can’t force yourself to care. You can drag yourself to work every day but you’ll never do your best, think your best, or tap into your most creative self when you’re mojo-depleted and bored. It’s in everybody’s best interest to make every job as interesting and fulfilling as it can be.

What makes a workplace a Human Workplace is the energy in the room, or the energy flying through the phone lines or moving around however workmates communicate and build community in your shop.

Good energy, called Team Mojo, is the fuel that powers your organization. You can cultivate and reinforce it, and you must if you want to accomplish anything worth shooting for.

It’s cheaper by far to lead than to supervise the old-fashioned, factory-inspired way.

It’s faster and nimbler to hire people you trust and then to trust them than to set up tedious policies to govern every activity at work.

The author worked in two high-growth companies. The first one grew from $2M to $180M in annual sales while the author was working there. The second company grew from $15M in sales to nearly $3B. The author led the HR function for both companies. What did the author learn?

That one can’t save his/her way to greatness. And that measurement is a tool, not a guiding star and not a club to bludgeon people with. Numbers are predictions and outcomes, not operating instructions.

People know better how to do their jobs than their bosses do. When leaders trust themselves enough to step back from the policy and the quarterly plan to trust the people around them, incredible things happen.

A Human Workplace is any workplace where the statement “People power our success, so people come first here” is both non-controversial and true. In a Human Workplace people talk about how they’re doing and how they’re feeling. They say things like “I’m not sure” and “You crushed that presentation!” and “What do you think?”

Managers say things like “I’m sorry, that was my mistake” and “How can I help you?”

As you humanize your workplace you’ll use numbers and data to inform your decisions, not blind yourself to any input apart from numbers. That’s like a ship’s captain staying on land and avoiding salt spray as s/he steers the ship remotely.

You have to stay close to the action through the people, because the numbers lie in many ways. The numbers can’t tell you about rising and falling waves of energy that will show up in the numbers later, but people will tell you about those things as soon as you ask.

In a Human Workplace, leadership means taking complete responsibility for everything and everyone around you, starting with the physical safety of the team and moving on to their emotional well-being and the health of their creative flame.

Your workplace won’t be human and your flame won’t rise if the environment isn’t healthy, safe and supportive of the people working in it.

The reward for your humanizing efforts will be obvious in a short time – within a few months, if you step into your Human Workplace with conviction. Your employees will be more alert and alive, more motivated and more relaxed.

You’ll be more relaxed and less prone to irritation or anger. You’ll enjoy your work more and get better business results. Of course, you won’t have as many things to measure!

You will hear more new and cool ideas from your employees. You’ll see them collaborating to tackle more ambitious projects. When everybody is focused on the same goal and empowered to take away roadblocks in their way, you’ll see and feel the lifted energy right away.

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