Grandiose? Yes – one could say that. A dramatic statement arising from a deep conviction that if we create positive work environments, people will treat each other fairly, humanely, and compassionately. People spend many hours at work and often carry the stresses of the workplace into their personal lives. When they feel respected, supported, and productive at work, with satisfying jobs, this, too, ‘leaks’ into their personal lives.
Creating positive work environments is one way to enable people who work inside organizations to survive, and even thrive, in our increasingly turbulent world. A world that is full of fast moving shifts, instantaneous communications, increasingly innovative technologies, and the need to process lots of information quickly to make informed decisions.
Organizations and leaders that figure out how to successfully navigate this turbulent world and treat employees with dignity and respect share some characteristics/principles:
• An organizational culture based on trust, values, and ethical behavior
• A systems approach to decision making and planning
• Open communication with internal and external stakeholders
• A shared dynamic vision of the future
• A participative leadership structure
• A positive work environment
• Fair and just treatment of employees and clients/customers
• Accountability through a data-driven performance management system
Successful leaders know that the way they treat employees affects how employees treat customers, clients, stakeholders, and each other. As organizations move to adopt these and other characteristics, the people who spend many hours inside these workplaces learn to interact with each other and their stakeholders with increased respect, trust, and caring. What we hear is that people carry this over into their personal lives, treating their family and community members with increasing trust, respect, and caring . . . more on this in future posts.