We’ve all suffered through those dreary workplaces that grind away at you.
Cynicism is the language of choice, and everybody is fluent. The longest serving employees speak as though they are prisoners of the job. You can spot the new starter a mile off, their optimistic outlook is like a short-lived and flickering candle. The collective lethargy of the environment has yet to snuff it out, but it will.
Hopefully most of us have been lucky enough to experience the opposite. Where the workspace has that unmistakeable buzz. Colleagues buy into the company vision and have solid relationships with the management. The bosses are approachable. They welcome chats about problems and ideas from the workforce. The good people stay for years, not out of a sense of obligation, but out of desire, and still bring fresh energy to their role.
Customer experience and the customer journey are common areas of significant
business scrutiny, and rightly so. Some companies ensure an equal amount of focus goes to the experience of the employee, some allow it to play second fiddle, some hand out a dog-eared tambourine with half the bells missing and still expect staff to play a decent tune.
This lack of harmony can result in side effects that range from feelings of employee detachment to outright disdain for work roles and practices.
A Metro article from July and a Guardian article from August covered the topic of a rising workplace trend called ‘quiet quitting.’ At the top end of this trend, employees are deciding that they will no longer go above and beyond for their companies. At the lower end, huge rafts of disengaged staff members have lost mental and emotional investment in the importance of their jobs.
The shift in energy can sometimes be obvious. Sometimes it is a gradual change that takes place over time. The biggest concern of any organisation should be when the most passionate people become quiet.
Ensuring values align with actions is a huge step in the right direction. If Family Focus is proudly listed as a core value of a company yet they begrudge the idea of a flexible working arrangement for essential childcare needs, then they aren’t values, they are empty buzzwords.
Brand personality was once a quirky concept but is now the norm. Businesses will release statements distancing themselves from taboo subjects stating that they “do not align with our company values.” The problem is, if no actions are taken to reinforce those values on the ground level, the carefully crafted brand personality risks being revealed to be more like a persona, or worse yet, a façade.
With so many pitfalls, how can you show you care as a business?
One way is to stop transacting with staff and be relational. Yes, they work for you and yes, it’s a contract of employment, but employees can be the most valuable asset your business has if they are treated well and kept engaged.
Implement perks that genuinely benefit staff instead of having a list of gimmicks intended to display a caring front.
Check in regularly with employees so that you get to know the person working for you, not as a quarterly box-ticking exercise.
Create relationships that go deeper than staff name and pay number.
Have benefits in place to improve the work experience, not as an attempt to try and bargain improved productivity out of the workforce.
In short, make it about the employees and make it genuine.
We know that as human beings we need emotional connection. Don’t let it be in your office that it all breaks down.
If you come from a place of care to begin with, you can’t go wrong.
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Thank you for reading....
** Idea and Content Creation Kerry Daley & Daryl Bennett
Thank you Daryl for making this piece a reality 👍🏻