If there’s one complaint that is increasingly echoing around the workplace, it’s that employees are so busy getting their work done that the workplace environment has lost its human essence—and this was in pre-COVID times. With the onset of mass remote working, this opportunity to rebuild the ‘human essence’ in the workplace has become a much harder task, but not one that is impossible.
When employees work behind closed doors, keeping themselves to themselves, and have little time to interact and connect with colleagues, the workplace can often become mechanised. But for a workplace to truly thrive, it must be humanised. After all, a successful business is a malleable organism whose parts are intertwined and interconnected.
The question is, how can you ‘humanise’ the workplace?
Well, here are a few strategies you can use to do just that:
1. The workplace is a place of meaning
When team members are energised and focused on a specific purpose, work is more meaningful and the days go flying by. When team members understand they’re part of a team that’s creating something bigger than themselves, amazing things can happen.
2. The workplace is a place to build connections
The vast majority of human beings require connections; after all, most of us don’t thrive in isolation. Therefore, humanising a team, company, or a culture encourages team members to be compassionate and supportive of and to one another. Working on inter-team relationships really can help to get the job done.
3.The workplace is about empowering
The focus of a workplace should be on empowering, not power. Sadly, many individuals in the workplace often think the more power they wield, the more influence they will have. However, the most admired leaders are fully aware that leadership doesn’t solely revolve around power. After all, power dehumanises people, teams, companies, and cultures. Conversely, leaders who empower their team often have the happiest, healthiest, and most successful workforce.
4. The workplace is about acknowledging others
This leads on from the above point regarding empowering others but instead focuses on the next step in the process—acknowledgement. Business begins by acknowledging those around you. Take every opportunity to recognise and praise those who contribute every day and recognise their efforts. Every team member is a person first and an employee second.
5. The workplace is about serving others.
The most influential people are those that serve others. Going out of your way to ask others if you can help, guide, mentor, assist, or contribute is a surefire to create a better workplace. It is often said that the real measure of successful humanity comes from the number of people you serve, which is certainly something to take in mind, regardless of your seniority.
6. The workplace is about learning from others
The workplace should revolve around learning from others, not pushing your own agenda. The goal of all workplaces should be to create a culture of leaders who are, the same time, students—learning from others, curious, ever-growing and developing, rather than pushing their thoughts and opinions on others. Leadership and learning are the foundation of a successful business.
7. The workplace is about bringing value
Employees don’t get paid just for an hour of their time; they get paid for the value they bring during those 60 minutes. Seek to bring and give a little more of yourself than you usually would. Lead by example where you can. Every single day ask yourself, “How can I bring value to my team members and colleagues?” Don’t sit around and wait for others to humanise the workplace; instead, take charge and begin the process yourself.