What I hope for: The Workplace

I was asked for a 500-word “wish” to be published by another organization and I thought to repost it in my blog.

My hope is for every workplace to be a better place to work.

Businesses are a key part of any community and community spirit as well as individual families are very directly influenced by the quality of their employers. If people are treated well and respected, that energy carries over into all aspects of how they live and their support of others.

What is distressing is to read about the low levels of engagement and morale in so many workplaces and the typical response from many senior executives and human resource professionals about how the workers don’t produce and their need for continuous management. Commonly heard are how much people resist change and training and that there are too many poor performers in the workplace.

For me, two things stand out. The first is that, “Nobody ever washes a rental car” and that we cannot expect people to take care of things if they do not feel any ownership involvement. Since so many feel that nobody listens or cares, why should they feel any sense of ownership? And the perception is the reality of that.

The other issue is that so many people are un-engaged and un-involvedwhen they could be involved and participating in the continuous improvement of their companies and their workplace.

I wish more companies would focus on Dis-Un-Engagement and do things to help the supervisors and managers do a better job of asking people for their ideas about how to make improvements. The wagons are rolling on wooden Square Wheels while the cargo is a lot of round rubber tires. But workplaces see themselves as too busy to stop pulling and pushing and to identify those things that are not working smoothly. If nothing changes, how will anything improve?

By involving and asking people for what kinds of things generate their feelings of un-engagement, we can allow them to generate some solutions and repairs. With the managers intent on fixing things, those efforts to remove those perceived roadblocks and problems will go a long long way toward improving workplace efficiency and effectiveness.

By demonstrating the care of listening to issues and ideas, we can make all sorts of impacts.

I guess that is the essence of my thinking and my wishes and hopes. Maybe everyone can get some of the above as a present for the year-end holidays: A bit more positive feelings about their role in their companies and a better sense of belonging and ownership. People are no longer just, “hired hands in the workplace.” Workers have brains and thoughts and ideas, too!

Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant.
Connect with Scott on Google+ – you can reach Scott at scott@squarewheels.com

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