What can you do to Make your Workplace Happier?
Knowledge Café at Portcullis House
Using the Knowledge Café format around forty colleagues from a variety of backgrounds and with different levels of seniority had small group conversations to explore this most important of questions.
Some of the conversations I took part in covered how far we should go in emotionally supporting colleagues during a restructure, especially if we were likely to be managing them once the new structure is in place. We talked about scaling up businesses and how the time pressures can leave little room for taking care of employee well-being. We talked about the attitude many people have to being able to ‘hack’ the pressure, as if struggling to cope is a sign of weakness rather than a signal to change something.
Some of the themes in the whole group discussion were:
- feeling you have a voice
- behaviours in the digital domain
- the value of face to face time
- well-being through restructures
We also talked about recognising that some organisations do well at this and being able to resist the urge to over-generalise about whole departments, whole organisations or whole groups of professionals.
One of my insights from the evening was that managers don’t always feel this:
It’s OK to show you care for the PERSON doing the job, as well as the job itself.
I can’t recall a single negative consequence from showing I care about a person at work, whether it is someone I am managing, someone who is in a formal process of grievance or disciplinary, an interviewee, someone whose performance needs to improve or someone who is poised for promotion. Everyone benefits from each of us caring more about the people we work with.
An important part of the Café process is to leave aside note making and focus solely on the conversation. Participants were invited to share insights from the evening on LinkedIn.
Thanks to those who took part in the Knowledge Café.
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