Written by John Toomey
Is your workplace fulfilling the needs of your people?
Traditionally the contract was pretty simple. People come to work and do a job for you. You return the service by giving them money. A simple agreement really!
But times have changed. It seems people are seeking more from the experience. Many employees are seeking a greater sense of belonging and perhaps importance in their workplace. For some people, the pay packet is no longer adequate acknowledgement of the service they perform.
Times have changed since the Baby Boomers first appeared on the planet. Just over 50 years ago, the television set arrived and a couple of things changed. First, people began to spend more time around the television in the evenings as opposed to spending time with neighbours; and, second, the home now had an asset that was very attractive to thieves.
Jump forward 50 years and our homes are full of electronic entertainment devices, protected by complex locks and high tech security systems. Disconnection from outside human contact at home has progressed to extraordinary levels.
A quick look over the works of Maslowe and others tells us that one of the primary needs of people is a sense of community. Where once people were able to satisfy their need for community through tightly knitted bonds with neighbours they now seek it away from home.
Most people spend at least 9 hours per day at work. The workplace has become the place where people have the greatest degree of human contact. In many senses, it has become their community.
For an employer, there can be great benefits in fostering a sense of community in the workplace. As friendships are nurtured, social support flourishes. Out of this, many advantages can be reaped by both the individual and the employer.
From the individual’s perspective, they begin spending their days around people they like and who like them. They get an opportunity to share their life experience with friends on a daily basis. The camaraderie creates goodwill and warmth in the workplace.
The employer who fosters such a community and allows it to pollinate and grow, will be the recipient of much good will from their people. Their employees will be less likely to leave their employment in search of greener pastures as they will feel the lush green thriving underfoot.
The end result is a team of people who love their workplace.
An additional benefit may well be that they seek to attract their friends to come and join the team when a vacancy arises. Many positives occur.
Allowing people a few minutes here and there to share the wins of their kids, to share some laughter or to gain personal advice from a fellow worker, is an investment in happiness and community in the workplace.
This is one of the ways to create a new type of fertility that will ensure handsome growth in your organisation.
John Toomey is one of Australia’s leading Health Educators. Holding a Degree in Physical Education, John has worked in a number of diverse areas including extensive work in the middle and upper levels of Australia’s corporate community as a Health Presenter to companies like BHP, Telstra, Lend Lease and Esso.
He has presented over 1500 seminars in Australian companies on Health, Wellbeing, Life Balance, Emotional Intelligence and Leadership
With his wide Media Experience, John has served as an expert commentator on Wellbeing topics. He has also been published on a number of occasions in the Melbourne Herald Sun and the Melbourne Age
Further, John is a licensed Avatar Master and serves on a number of courses each year guiding students through an exploration of their own consciousness. Find out more at his website
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