I hear many people complain that people are so busy getting the work done that their workplace has lost the human essence. When people work behind closed doors, when they keep to themselves, when they hardly have time to connect, it becomes a mechanized workplace.
For a workplace to thrive, it has to be humanized, because a successful organization is an organism whose parts are all connected. Here are 10 powerful principles to use in humanizing your workplace:
1. The workplace isn’t just a place for work but a place to do something meaningful. When a team is energized around a purpose, the work is more meaningful and the days go by faster. When everyone understands that they’re part of a group of people creating something bigger than themselves, great things happen.
2. The workplace isn’t just a place for work but a place to build connections. As human beings, we require connections. Most humans don’t thrive in isolation, so humanizing a company, a team, or a culture means encouraging employees to be compassionate and supportive and considerate toward one another, working on relationships as well get getting stuff done.
3. The workplace isn’t about creating rules but trusting one another to do their part. Think about all the dumb rules your company has and ask whether they’re helping your culture, people and organization thrive. Do you need to become more human by trusting one another and doing away with procedures and policies that keep that trust and confidence from growing?
4. The workplace isn’t about having power but being able to empower. Unfortunately, in many workplaces, people mistakenly think that the more power they have the more influential they will be. But the most admired leaders know that leadership isn’t about power—power dehumanizes cultures, companies, teams and people. Leaders who empower others have the healthiest cultures and the most successful workplaces.
5. The workplace isn’t a place for holding pointless meetings but for creating opportunities to build community. Many workplaces hold meetings, but are your meetings helping you cultivate communities within your workplace? If not, rethink how you hold your meetings. Make every meeting an opportunity for establishing and developing teams whose members can learn from one another, think with one another and care for one another.
6. The workplace isn’t just about you but about acknowledging others for their contributions. Humanizing your workplace starts with acknowledging the people you work with and do business with. It means taking every opportunity to recognize and praise those who contribute on a daily basis for their efforts and achievements. Remember that everyone there is a person first and a working person second.
7. The workplace isn’t about taking proprietorship but serving others. At the end of the day, the people who are the most influential are those who serve others. Make it your business to ask those around you if there’s anything you can do to help, guide, mentor or assist. A true measure of successful humanity comes from the number of people you serve.
8. The workplace isn’t for working within the status quo but a place to challenge yourself out of your comfort zone. If people are coasting at work, they’re not bringing the best parts of who they are. It may be uncomfortable to challenge the status quo, but that is part of being human. Encourage everyone—yourself included—to move beyond their comfort zone and dare themselves to try something new.
9. The workplace isn’t about pushing your agenda but learning from others. If your culture is filled with individuals who are always pushing their agenda, maybe it’s time to humanize the way people think, act and communicate. Work to create a culture of leaders who are students—always curious, developing and growing, learning from each other instead of pushing their own ideas on others. Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other; make them the foundation of everything you do.
10. The workplace isn’t about just getting by but bringing value to everything you do. People don’t get paid for an hour of their time but for the value they bring during that hour. Work to bring all of who you are to work, to give a little bit more of yourself than you normally would. When you do, you lead by example. Ask yourself every day, “How can I bring value to those I work with?” Don’t wait for others to humanize the culture but lead the charge yourself. Remember we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
Lead from within: To deny a culture its humanity is to deprive a workplace of being human. Humanize your workplace to benefit those who are of service to the cause.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: iStockPhotos
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.
24. Apr, 2019
I normally do not leave comments but your article speaks to my beliefs. Thank you so much for this great article and details on “humanizing your workplace”. I am currently venturing into Freelance Management and Leadership Coaching and I had a discussion with one of the Managers and I told him that there needs to be humanizing of team members. Even though I used the word in the right context and it has meaning for what I believe in as far as how people should be treated, I still needed more information on how to articulate this. While doing some research today, I came across your article and it is a life saver, it has helped me to put things into perspective and now I can articulate what I was trying to communicate. Thank you so much. Claire