Part 1 of this post concluded with the question, “What would your ideal work culture look like?” Here’s an expanded version of my response.
Over and over the human beings in our workplaces are marginalized, as if the task to get done is more important than employees feeling as though their contributions make a difference. Human beings at work can take instruction and get things done. But when we as leaders engage all of what makes us human, including the legitimate needs for meaning and belonging at work, our organizations will capitalize on the abilities that are particular to humans alone. We will see people creating ideas seemingly out of nowhere or accomplishing the impossible by trading on the power of relationships. When all involved see the sacredness in their relationships and in everyone’s role and contribution, our organizations will experience the true competitive advantage of its human resources.
Being human means having very human needs, such as the need to contribute, to be appreciated, to make a difference, to belong. These must be addressed in every encounter. This awareness must permeate every interaction. We can start to adapt to this way of working by learning to earnestly revere each other’s needs, even if we don’t understand or relate to them. And leaders must lead the way.
My wish is that one-day we all embrace the belief that there is an inestimable power and potential in human beings treating each other humanly. One day our society and the world will grow and prosper in a whole new way because each employee does their work from a place of knowing they play a legitimate role and truly make a difference. The commitment to taking responsibility to honor each other’s worth is not only a decision but also a journey, and through our struggles to see this vision in action, we realize its power.
NOTE: This post is based on a manifesto posted on my site. To see entire manifesto, look here: www.reimaginework.com/manifesto/.
Image from iStockphoto