The Future of Work is Human
The recent CIPD Absence Management Report (2016) highlights stress as still being the top reason for long-term absence at work and the second most common reason for short term absence. The main causes of stress are cited in the report as volume of work at 55%, and a staggering 32% being caused by management style.
In business today we are still getting human relationships, communication and the management of others wrong and costing ourselves money and lost productivity.
Peter Cheese (CEO of CIPD) in a recent talk entitled ‘The Future of work is Human’ highlighted the trends that business needs to address to be successful in the future – reducing stress at work, how engagement levels are ‘languishing’ (Gallup measure Worldwide active engagement at a staggeringly low 13%) and the need to improve this by maximising human potential, enabling people to do the best they can – make work more meaningful and purposeful for those employed. He cites lack of trust as an issue for society as a whole (think banking crisis, current view of politicians) and how this can also be a barrier to engagement at work and business success. The HBR Quality of Life @ Work study, backs this up finding that ”how much trust and safety employees experience correlates to how respected they feel by their leaders. Employees who felt that their leaders treated them with respect were 63% more satisfied with their jobs, 55% more engaged, 58% more focused, and 110% more likely to stay with their organization.”
When Gallup measures engagement at work – the impact of managers makes up 70% of the variance.
The Great Place to Work Institute produces the “100 Best Companies to Work For” and trust comprises two-thirds of the criteria they use, their research shows that –
”..trust between managers and employees is the primary defining characteristic of the very best workplaces.”
All too often at work we worry about what people think of us, are busy trying to fit in and do and say the ‘right’ thing: we become masked trying to be the person we think we should be, to be ‘good enough’ – this leads to lack of authenticity, creates conformity, and hinders real communication and genuine relationships.
Leaders and managers tend to have a transactional perspective – seeing the tasks rather than the person involved. This is compounded by old methods of training focusing on ways of doing, using an ‘outside in’ approach – ‘do it this way’, rather than an ‘inside out approach’ which respects the individual – engaging their values, promoting their strengths and building confidence. The old fashioned ‘outside in’ approach results in conformity, failure to challenge the status quo and bad behaviours which can add to workplace stress. In simple terms – if you feel you can’t be who you really are at work – you will experience stress.
Managers and leaders need to look beyond the task to the person, and create an environment of trust and respect – a more human approach. We all need to take more responsibility for our impact on others and make it more positive, keep our power, manage our emotional response and get rid of that blame culture.
This is about bringing the real us to work: being honest, no pretence, truly being yourself, and letting others be the same. Authenticity builds trust.
Let go of that mask you wear at work to look competent and appear how you think you ‘should’ – stop being that person you think others want to see.
Be aware of your impact on others – manage your emotional response.
Look at the measures above and score out of 10 to see how you and your business measures up.
Make a note of the scores that you’d like to improve the most.
Think about what could be stopping you showing these behaviours and consider what actions you could take to improve the scores.
We can help you humanise your workplace.
Through cultural review, workshops and 1:1’s, using our iAM tool to reveal values, we can bring out the goodness and human potential in everyone. If people bring the best of themselves to work every day – they will naturally transform behaviour with extraordinary impact. Ditch the old ‘outside in’ approach to people development that never seems to stick and do Business The New Way. Change starts with one person, one business at a time.
Can you afford to be left behind?