Humanizing Workplace Relationships

 

 

“For me, my role is about unleashing what people already have inside them that are maybe suppressed in most work environment.” Tony Hseih, Zappos CEO

I believe there is a central issue at the heart of so much difficulty in today’s workplace – our inability to regularly connect at the human to human level.  To be sure, the structure of the “modern” organization creates serious roadblocks and even undermines empathy, trust and genuine collaboration between co-workers.   There is a decaying legacy of hierarchical control models that were never designed to optimize human dynamics.  We need a critical conversation that engages organizational leaders and their employees if we are to ever achieve trust and authentic engagement. 

Is the “modern” workplace designed for people?

Are the systems created for work designed to maximize productivity and profit or human well-being?

Who factors in the real cost of human labor when analyzing productivity and profits?

What do most managers believe they are managing?  

I have far more questions than I have answers on this topic. In fact, I think we’re now on new terrain when it comes to redefining the meaning of work in a global “supply chain” world.  While it may seem absurd that in one part of the world children are still working in coal mines; while in another, companies like Google have installed, “Chief Culture Officers,” – this is the new “normal.” Continue reading

Engaging The Unengaged: Part 2

In Part 1 of Engaging the Unengaged, I refer to studies by the Gallup Workforce Survey. which have consistently placed the spotlight on organizational leaders’s weak “people skills” as a major factor in disengagement.

One major recurring theme in the studies is the importance of the positive relational dynamics that help co-workers feel connected to their work and a supportive workplace culture.

While these interpersonal skills may sound basic, it’s often surprising how many employees lack or ignore their value in promoting cooperation and good communication. Without question, these skills play a fundamental role in promoting engagement at work.

Continue reading