I was working with a company recently and wanted to help them update their employee review process to better reflect the kinds of things we focus on in Dare To Lead™. I was surprised to find so many HR and executive and leadership coaching sites still using the old fashioned annual checklist of qualities and tasks developed so many years ago when we were in command and control mode. Employees hate these sorts of reviews, mainly because they are irrelevant to their actual jobs, offered only once per year, and are perceived to be bias driven. The old annual review tortures both the employee and the supervisor.
And then I came across a new book, Making Work Human: How Human-Centered Companies are Changing the Future of Work and the World (Mosley and Irvine, 2021). After reading it I can say that the title is not hyperbolic. It is a revolutionary idea, based in solid research and it could change the face of current business practices and the world. The basic premise is the building of a culture in which every worker feels appreciated, respected, and empowered for who they are and for what they do. The goal is to increase meaning, connection, shared purpose, optimism, and happiness. And this can be accomplished by merging technology with positive psychology through social recognition and continuous performance management. It is founded on three principles:
- THANK: Expressing authentic gratitude for someone’s work effort or positive behavior to develop, deepen, and nurture connections throughout the organization.
- TALK: Encouraging one another through continuous performance management, with in the moment, honest, and helpful feedback to align individuals and teams toward common goals.
- CELEBRATE: Building community and authentic connections around colleague’s achievements in and out of the office, especially important as we make the shift toward more virtual work environments.
Mosley and Irvine developed a Workhuman Charter of Workplace Rights, noting that not since 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [thank you Eleanor Roosevelt!], has anything like this been done. Among its tenets are:
- A place where people deserve to grow to their greatest potential through training, feedback, and rewards
- A place where people feel secure to express their views and ideas, with respect for themselves and others
- A place where people can use their talents and voice for good
- A place that supports environmental, social, and economic sustainability
Mosley and Irvine have taken the concept of soft skills in business (See my April 22, 2020 blog) into a new dimension. Imagine a world in which hard, quantifiable business goals include: imagination, courage, appreciation, gratitude, vulnerability, kindness, dedications, selflessness, and love! Their research (in collaboration with IBM), and dubbed, human enterprise, shows that a human workplace is primarily characterized by opportunities for:
- Organizational trust
- Coworker relationships
- Meaningful work
- Recognition, feedback, and growth
- Empowerment and voice
- Work-life balance
If all this piques your interest, stay tuned for how technology and positive psychology combine to create Social Recognition in next week’s blog.
Weekly Challenge: Express gratitude to 3 colleagues this week.
Supporting Your Success!