A Guide To Transformation: To an Emotionally Fit Workplace
By Jess Keenan, Leading Change Experiences
We are at a time when businesses are constantly navigating the layers of a change, disruption and uncertainty. The call to build and develop: 1. Human Skills & Behavioural Awareness
2. Emotional Fitness
3. Emotional Culture
..into the workplace has never been more pressing.
Inspired by many conversations I have had with people from different industries and employment tiers, here are some of my favourite insights on five transformative principles for businesses and organisations:
Tip #1 - Re-engage with purpose and values
Much like a lighthouse provides direction through the fog, defining a clear organisational purpose and core values acts as a beacon for employees. It's more than just team members knowing what the values are - and by the way.. A focus on a maximum of 3 values is not only sufficient, but makes the connection with them implementable. Any more than 3 values, becomes a "list". It's about team members establishing a connection with the values. The values are a powerful framework for employees feeling a sense of purpose. People are wanting to feel more "meaning" when it comes to their work. When there is a shared connection to values and purpose, clarity cuts through the uncertainty, anchoring them to the shared vision. This fosters a deep sense of belonging and fulfillment. When employees resonate with the organisation's purpose on a personal level, their work transcends routine tasks, becoming a passionate pursuit towards a common goal.
Tip #2 - Cultivate Psychological Safety
"The foundation of innovation lies in an environment where individuals feel emotionally safe and secure enough to take risks and be their true selves"
Psychological safety is achieved through building an emotional culture. An emotional culture encourages open dialogue, vulnerability, and the courage to voice novel ideas, challenges, etc. It's about removing the protective armour through focussing on building safe and trusting relationships, and ensuring that every team member feels valued and heard.
Tip #3 - Navigate Human Complexities With Empathy
Our workplaces are richly diverse. Embracing the complexities of human emotions, behaviours and narratives is vital. We are all people, turning up at work, with many different life situations going on either in the background in their personal lives, or within your workplace. This principle involves leading and engaging with empathy, promoting an environment where self-reflection and vulnerable conversations are encouraged. An added layer of deepening mental and emotional wellbeing is in providing support and coaching for individuals to navigate through their self-limiting beliefs. By recognising and validating the myriad human experiences within the workplace (and their personal lives), organisations are showing their employees and leaders, that they care. The flow of effect of individuals feeling like they are considered and cared for by their leadership, management or directors, is endless when it comes to loyalty, productivity, fulfilment, happiness and motivation.
Tip #4 - Empower Authentic Leadership - Leadership As Being
Authentic leadership redefines the concept of leadership as a behaviour rather than a role. It supports the idea that everyone has the capacity to lead through authenticity, empathy, and vulnerability.
"Authenticity is when our inner expression matches our outer expression"
To raise consciousness in leadership requires a commitment to personal growth and a commitment to becoming emotionally fit. Encouraging individuals to embark on this journey not only transforms them but also inspires transformative and impactful change within the organisation. Authentic leaders and team members act as catalysts, motivating others to transcend their limitations and contribute to a culture of continuous growth and learning - a people first culture.
Tip #5 - Meaningful Connections
At the heart of a human-centered workplace is a strong sense of community. Building a network where individuals feel connected, appreciated, significant and part of something greater - forms a collective spirit and enhances team cohesion. It's about leveraging the power of diverse relationships to create a supportive ecosystem that nurtures individual and collective well-being, driving the organisation forward.
Organisations Leading Cultural Change
Integrating genuine human skills and values into our workplaces is critical for businesses and organisations striving for success.
By embracing these principles and by prioritising building an emotionally-fit culture, businesses can create environments where employees feel innately valued, engaged, and motivated to contribute their best. This journey towards a more human-focussed workplace is indeed a collective one, requiring commitment, courage, and compassion from every level of the organisation.