September 22, 2011
Posted by Joan V. Gallos
Tony Schwartz posted a piece on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network worth the read: The Twelve Attributes of a Truly Great Place to Work.
It’s important, Tony tells us, because more than 100 research studies have found that the most engaged employees are significantly more productive, drive higher customer satisfaction, and outperform the less engaged. The kicker: only 20 per cent of employees around the world say they’re fully engaged at work.
Tony’s meta-advice: employers need to shift their focus from trying to get more out of people to investing more in them. They do that by addressing four core human needs — physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. His twelve suggestions for creating truly great workplaces are offered below.
My two cents: the first six are structural interventions that take special funding, policies, and time to get in place. The last six are things we can implement right now. They make a huge difference and enable people to bring their best to work.
I don’t know about you, but respect, appreciation, autonomy, clarity, meaningful contribution, and capacity to learn and grow go a long way for me. Which on the list speak most powerfully to you?
- 1. Pay everyone a living wage. We know the gap between CEO compensation and pay to those at the bottom of the organizational heap. No more need be said.
- 2. Give employees a stake in the company’s success. Profit sharing plans, stock options, or bonuses tied to performance let everyone share the fruits of their labor.
- 3. Design safe, comfortable and appealing work environments with space for privacy, for collaboration, and for community building.
- 4. Provide healthy, high-quality food, at the lowest possible prices – even in the vending machines.
- 5. Create places for rest and renew during the day and encourage breaks. Naps can fuel higher productivity.
- 6. Offer a gym, encourage employees to stay fit, and provide incentives to use the facilities during the work day for renewal.
- 7. Define clear expectations for success, and give employees autonomy to do their jobs.
- 8. Introduce “two-way performance reviews” where employees receive feedback and provide it to their supervisors without fear of retribution.
- 9. Hold managers accountable for treating all employees with respect and care and for acknowledging their positive contributions.
- 10. Enable employees to focus without interruption on their most important priorities and to think more strategically and creatively,
- ideally on projects that fuel their passions.
- 11. Provide ongoing opportunities and incentives to learn and grow in job-specific skills and in softer interpersonal, leadership, and life skills.
- 12. Stand for something beyond profits: products and services that add value in the world and enable people to feel good about their companies.