Re-Humanising the Modern Workplace
Does the modern workplace need re-humanising? Was it ever more humane than it is today? There are numerous human resources, organisational development, organisational culture, and other related measures or indices that tell us when a place is more human or too toxic for employees to give of their best for the organisation's benefit and their own self-actualisation.
If you are one of those corporate animals that believe in the idea that 'organisations are living beings' or entities with a personality and/or with character, then by extension you would agree that the human beings who work in these entities comprise the personality traits or characteristics of these very organisations. So, if at some point you feel like your organisation is bullying you into long unhappy hours of drudgery, or doing something else that makes you unhappy, or something that you really like and enjoy, just take a closer look at your management and executive leadership. That is where it emanates from. And we must always remember that it is all connected. It is all systemic. And, guess what, if you work within an organisation, you are an integral part of it all, whether you choose to be or not.
Harsh? Not at all.
Many of us who have worked in one or other company, business or corporate, both in the public and private sector, have heard a version of the following statements: "You signed up for this. I don't care if you go all night at it. Just get it done. Okay?" "Who wants to hear about your personal issues. We are here to work?" "This is a place of work, and I am your manager, not your therapist"
Wake up – grow up – open up – clean up – show up! Integral Leadership Practice & Wisdom!
The very fact that we have internal organisational functions that include services like 'workplace trauma counselling' ought to worry any business leader. Who goes into a place of work to be traumatised, or to traumatise others? There are extensive studies on 'workplace bullying', and others referring to executives as 'snakes in suits'. The point of it all is that it is still a jungle out there in the good old corporate.
There are several options open to organisations that have moved from transactional models and approaches to transformational ways of workplace engagement. One of them is developing a coaching culture across the whole business structure and across all levels. The basis for this is that every human being has the innate capacity to connect and engage positively with others given the appropriate environment and context. This is the mind-set, and heart-set, that sets the tone for re-humanising just about any workplace, however toxic the climate. Re-humanising the modern workplace starts with leadership behaviours that not only evoke humane ways of connecting with others; these are leadership behaviours that also invite humanity from every employee, and celebrate authentic human connection as expected standard behaviour.