In the mad rush to stay technologically relevant and to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, many organisations seem to have overlooked a very basic but critical organisational attribute: its company culture. Therefore it should come as no surprise when statistics point to the number of employees who have left or are thinking about leaving their jobs simply because they're unhappy or disengaged at work. A recent survey by the Economic Research Council (ERC) and Gallup shows that almost 73% of the workforce are not engaged or showed little enthusiasm in their jobs.
So how can organisations create a culture where people feel happier, more fulfilled and become their best version?
Last week I attended a valuable discussion by Bruce Daisley – VP of Twitter, EMEA, who talked about his new bestselling book, The Joy of Work. The event was organised by IoIC at the KPMG offices in Canary Wharf and had a turnout out of around 100 people.
While Bruce's book talks in detail about navigating and fixing work place culture, here are my top nuggets of knowledge that I'd like to share from his presentation:
1. Mood matters: Studies have shown that people do a better job when they are in a positive state of mind. Companies need to create an environment where people are not stressed and are in the right frame of mind to do their job in the most collaborative, creative or productive way.
2. Safe spaces: Organisations with high performing teams have employees who are able to safely speak their truth. These companies have taken the steps to create the right environment where employees feel psychologically safe and confident to admit and learn from their mistakes, and voice their views without fearing the consequences.
3. Smoothie delusion: In many companies today, benefits packages are introduced as a way of upping their EVP. But it's important to also realise that these are short term fixes and need to be complemented with far more strategic and long term approaches to transform the employee mindset.
4. Hustle culture: Remember the adage all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy? Well, the idea that people have to be working relentlessly and exerting themselves to their maximum is not only counter-productive, it is also unhealthy. Want great ideas from your team? Then re-set the culture; the secret of fixing anything is taking stuff away – reduce both meeting time and the number of people invited to attend them, limit workload, and give your team a breather.
5. Face-to-face: Most workplaces today have embraced or are rapidly moving towards an environment where, hot-desking, open plan offices, work from home, heavily bulleted meetings and endless emails are the modus operandi. While these are touted as the modern ways of giving people the autonomy to navigate an increasingly complex and growing business landscape, it's important to not overlook the essence of face-to-face interactions. Encouraging employees to turn off notifications, have lunch away from their desks and be in sync with their working environments is key towards fostering connectivity with colleagues.
April is National Stress Awareness month, so putting some of Bruce's top tips into practice should enable a healthier, more productive and happier workforce.
Bruce Daisley's book The Joy of Work is published by Penguin. You can follow him on Twitter @Brucedaisley and listen to his business podcast Eat Sleep Work Repeat here: https://eatsleepworkrepeat.fm/podcast/