What is it like to work here?
These are questions that interviewees ask themselves as they arrive for their interview. I wonder what it is like to work here? Rarely, in my own experience, do we get an honest, warts and all insight that can actually answer that question. Often there are too many backs to protect. Too much organisational or managerial pride. It takes a humble manager or leader to admit that sometimes things are not ideal and that managing work relationships takes a lot of their time. That perhaps there are a few disruptive, yet super talented people that they really wish they could engage with so that their creativity and productivity are unleashed. How much time do we spend getting to know what it is like to be others? To really connect?
Likewise, the culture, vision and values of the business have a huge impact on our people. More and more business leaders are realising that if they create well designed jobs in workplaces that support the wellbeing and health of their people then productivity soars! I have worked in businesses where the people show up with their full selves every single day and love, love, love what they do and the people they work with. OK - everyone of us has our moments with workplace relationships or where there is a life plot twist and perhaps things are not all going the way we want. But, when the business has values that support our humanness it makes so much difference. We bounce back more quickly.
Having worked for many years as a Workplace Wellbeing Specialist and also being a judge on the Employer of Choice Health and Wellbeing Award and panel member for the Workplace Wellbeing Charter, I have over 10 years experience helping all kinds of business leaders to evolve their businesses using wellbeing as a transformational agent of change. It becomes the thread running through the story of "what it is like to work here".
Our workplace setting is key to sustaining the wellbeing of our people in the workplace. If not designed compassionately and sensitively, it can sap people's energy. If we put people in tiny boxes where they do an 8 hour shift, we need to really consider what we can do to enhance their working day. Equally, if our people feel cared for and supported, this ripples out to the people we serve. It is so much more rewarding to engage with someone who clearly enjoys their work and is respectful of the organisation than one who sits and complains about it and appears to be living under a cloud! Those "yes but" people! I recall being in a large supermarket (many times) where I used to live and almost every time I went in I heard one member of staff or other complaining about their working hours, the management, working conditions. Needless to say, I don't shop there anymore.
If we want our people to thrive at work and turn up with their fullest selves, then we need to listen to them, support them and design an environment in which they can thrive.
So if you would like a free "What it's like to work here" assessment where I spend 1/2 a day in your business just talking to your people about the flow of activity, communication and some of the issues and challenges that they have on a day to day basis with recommendations and guidance on how to enhance this that is easy to manage and designed with resilience and wellbeing in mind, then call me.
All I ask of you, and this is important, is that you give me unfettered and unscripted access to your organisation. I am in mystery shopper mode where my only agenda is to help you and your people to improve wellbeing and resilience in the workplace and have a great experience at work. This takes courage and humility. There will be things I uncover that you were not aware of and sometimes this can be an uncomfortable truth.
I can offer solutions that resolve any of those hidden issues and recommendations to support a positive approach to absence management, reduce sickness levels and also take the pain out of managing wellbeing that serve you in a way that creates a place where everyone will want to be!
Where coming to work each day becomes a pleasure and a treasure.