An increased sense of personal well-being at work, in real and practical ways, contributes to a positive and enjoyable work environment. A pleasant environment filled with happy associates, coupled with feelings of team accomplishment and personal fulfillment, can contribute as much as anything to increased productivity, greater efficiency, and decreased absenteeism. All of these things working together will affect the bottom line by contributing in positive ways to overall cost savings. It is not enough to only look at process improvements and best practices. The impact of environment cannot be underestimated. I believe creating such an environment begins with the leaders. How do you do it? It begins with honesty, truth, caring, and transparency. This is stuff you can’t fake. If you try to do so your associates will see right through it. We’ve got to do it and be real about it. In order to be real we must be authentic. Lance Secretan in his book One…The Art and Practice of Conscious Leadership actually suggests that leaders should love their people. It probably would be helpful if they also loved one another. In addition, it’s not enough for the leaders to care about their people. The “people” need to care about their leaders. We can’t treat one another like we are enemies. The people who do the work and the people who manage the work are in a partnership. It should not be an adversarial relationship. This is where I would add trust to the mix. I know that some of you probably think any talk about love and feelings is inappropriate in the workplace. Some think we are here to get a job done, not love one another. I’m not suggesting a phony and shallow pretending to care about one another. I am suggesting the real deal. Work is part of life and the caring that many of you show for family, friends, and causes dear to your heart should be expanded to include the work place. What would the workplace be like if most people actually liked, or even loved, coming to work? What would the workplace look like if we tried to outdo one another in kindness? What would the workplace look like if there was more cooperation and less competition? What would it be like to ride the elevators and hear more laughter and less complaining? What I am suggesting, and what Lance Secretan writes about, is a oneness and unity that will heal the separateness that too often exists.
“You may say that I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one”.
-John Lennon in the song Imagine.