Making the Workplace More Human

In a data-intensive reality where everything seems to be changing at warp speed, connection to one another and to our organizations is more vital than ever before. In fact, competitive business advantage today lies in the ability to find the right connections in a busy universe.

One of the biggest leadership development challenges confronting business in coming years is rapid organizational change, according to the Center for Creative Leadership. Leaders and employers are facing challenges because of issues like employee turnover, competition and increased use of technology. With all this change and complexity, people are also increasingly overwhelmed at work. The average mobile phone user checks his or her device 150 times per day. More than 80% of all companies rate their business “highly complex” or “complex” for employees yet, fewer than 16% of companies have a program to simplify work or help employees deal with stress, according to a Deloitte study. All of this begs the question as to whether the myriad of measurement tools and analytics being applied to the workplace are actually helping people be more productive or are just overwhelming leaders and employees alike with too much information.

One thing is clear: We need to make the workplace more human. Organizations need to commit to cultivating a sense of community and connectedness within the workplace. The good news is that this can be achieved while simultaneously driving profit and successful business outcomes. Moreover, it is actually critical to do so in order to sustain long-term success. Competitive business advantage today lies in the ability to find the right human signals in a busy universe and apply insights quickly.

Where do we start?

The first place for leaders to begin is to create a work environment of “psychological safety.” Establishing a safe environment can be achieved by implementing four critical components:

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Michael Papay and Steve Cadigan
Michael Papay has been a co-founder and CEO of two HR tech companies, and his most recent venture, Waggl, is transforming the way organizations get feedback from employees. Steve Cadigan is a co-founder of ISDI Digital University, previously served as VP Talent for LinkedIn and VP Human Resources for Electronic Arts, and has served as an advisor to some of the most innovative organizations in the world.
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