Have we moved past the hard-boiled workplaces where screaming bosses, ridiculous deadlines and 80-work-weeks are the norm? Have we done enough to prove engaged, happy employees are more productive and more inclined to deliver on needed success metrics?
I like to think so, but then I begin to worry over those who discount the importance of positive and the Power of Thanks in the work place. So today, I point you to an article on the Harvard Business Review blog that reminds us that simply being kind to others actually is a strategic business decision. From the article:
In a research article published in the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science [Kim} Cameron and his coauthors [at the University of Michigan] found that a workplace characterized by positive and virtuous practices excels in a number of domains.
Positive and virtuous practices include:
- Caring for, being interested in, and maintaining responsibility for colleagues as friends.
- Providing support for one another, including offering kindness and compassion when others are struggling.
- Avoiding blame and forgive mistakes.
- Inspiring one another at work.
- Emphasizing the meaningfulness of the work.
- Treating one another with respect, gratitude, trust & integrity.
Cameron and his colleagues explain that there are three reasons these practices benefit the company. Positive practices:
- Increase positive emotions which broaden employees’ resources and abilities by improving people’s relationships with each other and amplifying their creativity and ability to think creatively.
- Buffer against negative events like stress, improving employees ability to bounce back from challenges and difficulties.
- Attract and bolster employees, making them more loyal and bringing out the best in them.
It's that interpersonal connection between people that get the job done. In a world where we still talk about "the man" causing us problems, we know we can trust and reach out to Joe down the hall who's always willing to lend a helping hand when a project gets tough. Strengthening and building those relationships is much easier when we stop, notice and appreciate the work of those around us in a meaningful way.
How would you describe your workplace today? Is it one in which people have truly deep, personal connections and relationships with each other? Is it a truly human workplace? What would you like your workplace to be?
As Globoforce’s Head of Strategic Consulting, Derek Irvine is an internationally minded management professional with over 20 years of experience helping global companies set a higher ambition for global strategic employee recognition, leading workshops, strategy meetings and industry sessions around the world. He is the co-author of "The Power of Thanks" and his articles on fostering and managing a culture of appreciation through strategic recognition have been published in Businessweek, Workspan and HR Management. Derek splits his time between Dublin and Boston. Follow Derek on Twitter at @DerekIrvine.