Designing Work That People Love
Record numbers of people are quitting their jobs. Why? It’s because many people today don’t want to show up to work. They want a more personalized, satisfying and creative professional experience where they can express themselves.
Why are workplaces becoming soul-sucking places? As the economy shifts and more businesses compete with each other, most businesses that rely on finite resources (e.g., manufacturing plants) have gone out of business or been acquired by a competitor. Businesses still in operation today have dramatically cut costs to stay competitive in a global marketplace. To do this, they have focused on the efficiency of their operations and the bottom line. This has left a gap between where organizations are and where the people who work for them want to be.
According to Dr. Jordan Sudberg, companies have forgotten that people don’t just work for the money that comes in and go home. They come to work because of their connection to the organization, for the purpose of making a difference in people’s lives. And when you’re doing that, you want to feel close to your colleagues, not dehumanized or isolated from them. You want to feel appreciated along with your contributions and rewarded for putting in the effort. Sadly these days, most employees don’t feel this way at work anymore because of evolving workplace dynamics and business practices that are alienating employees from their jobs.
These six key points outlined by Dr. Sudberg are ways in which a company can align its business culture with what employees most desire, so that they can feel valued and engaged at work:
1. Create Clarity
Today’s organizations are run with bureaucratic processes and systems that don’t serve the employee or customer. Businesses have lost their way by not clearly defining their mission, vision or values. A business has to align its key stakeholders on what the organization is all about. That starts with the CEO and filters down to managers who are accountable for translating it into actionable everyday behaviors.
2. Design the culture
This is key to building a truly sustainable workforce. There are certain things that employees most value including pride in their jobs and personal satisfaction with their work. Unfortunately, many organizations still operate in a “me too” corporate mentality, which results in a lack of creative and purposeful decision-making. The result is employees who feel stuck in their jobs.
Culture has to be inclusive, fun and motivating. The way to do this is to demonstrate your commitment to the values you’re promoting. It’s not enough to say that you support these values in theory; you have to demonstrate they are a daily reality in every aspect of the organization.
3. Listen and ask for feedback
A great way to gauge how employees feel about the design of the workplace is to have them complete a survey. This will give you a better understanding of what motivates your employees and what areas need improvement. This is an opportunity for you to showcase your commitment to employee satisfaction and drive alignment across the organization.
Employees will appreciate this, not only because they are engaged in the decision-making process, but also because their opinions are being sought out and heard by their leadership team.
4. Shape a work/life balance
Another way to get employees engaged and truly passionate about their jobs is to provide them with the opportunity to take time off if they need to. Allowing employees the flexibility they need to take care of their families or deal with personal matters is not just good for those involved, it’s also good for productivity and retention. What’s more important than that?
5. Bring the personal back into the professional
Most of the time, people have to perform tasks that they don’t necessarily enjoy. The problem is when you constantly have to do things at work you don’t like, you won’t perform your best. A lot of this comes down to how engaged you are at work and how much purpose you feel while performing your job.
The best way to pull this off is to create work that is personally meaningful and relevant. This means that you’re fulfilling your own needs while at the same time, enabling others to do the same. The result is more engaged, fulfilled and loyal employees.
6. Provide opportunity for advancement
This is a simple yet effective way of keeping employees engaged at work and preserving your company culture. If people feel there is an opportunity for growth, they are more likely to stay. This way you can reduce costs related to turnover and depression by streamlining the turnover process and saving money on recruiting while increasing employee productivity.
The key here is to show employees that they have a future within your organization if they take care of business and become a top performer. Gifts for employees is another way to boost productivity in the workplace.
As a business leader, Dr. Jordan Sudberg believes that you are in charge of shaping the culture of your organization. This means you should not just settle for being seen as an authority figure that employees have to report to. Your goal should be to create a work environment where people feel like they can be themselves while they are at work and still get the job done.