With the prevalence of technology in the workplace, it seems that with each passing year employees are logged into the online world more and more. With email communications, cloud sharing, and the other great advancements we’ve made, people can go days or even weeks without having to talk to someone.
While there are immense benefits to technology, it’s important for organizations to not let technology take away the humanity and culture of a workplace environment. Here are five ways to grow a more human workplace and make the office more pleasant for everyone.
Offer Flexible Scheduling
Let’s start with the main benefit of technology and how it ties in directly with creating a human workplace. While we tend to spend the majority of our time working, people value work-life balance and have a life outside of the office walls. People want to have the flexibility to spend time with their family or care for a sick child when they can’t go to the sitter and to enjoy the hot summer days while they last.
To improve employee morale and create a more human workplace, offer flexible scheduling. Give an employee some bandwidth to work from home in the evening so they can attend their child’s school concert. Give someone the opportunity to work an extra half hour a day so they can be off on the Friday before the long weekend. You can use technology to take advantage of Powerful Staff Scheduling Solutions to make it simple.
Take steps to get people talking to each other. While water cooler banter may seem like a waste of time, these brief bouts of communication help your employees make a connection with one another, which has benefits for the organization when working together to get things done.
Consider adding a seating area where someone can take a coffee break for 15 minutes and chat with their coworkers. Add a lunch area where employees can gather, and enact a “no lunch at your desk” policy to ensure that people are taking the time they need to disconnect from their work. Do what you can to cultivate conversation amongst your employees.
Get to Know the Whole Person
Keith isn’t just an accountant; he’s also training for a marathon. Mary isn’t just in sales; she’s helping transition her aging mother from home to a care facility. In short, the people you see at work every day have a lot going on behind the scenes. By taking the time to understand the whole person, you get the opportunity to show your humanity and show that the business cares about their people.
Whole Person Development is a theory that states that for someone to truly be successful, they must give the right amount of focus to all areas of their life. If they’re not congruent with their wants and needs, they’ll never be happy and engaged in anything they do. Take the time to treat your people like humans.
Talk About the Tough Stuff
Transparency and authenticity are crucial for creating a human workplace. Sometimes, that means talking about the tough stuff. Having sessions about workplace harassment and challenges the company is facing can start a dialogue with employees and make them feel included, rather than worker drones who aren’t welcome behind closed doors.
Give Back to the Community
Give your employees a chance to give back to the community while at work, through volunteer opportunities. Once a month you may decide to support a different charity or cause. For example, one month you could encourage employees to participate in a litter cleanup after which they’ll enjoy a barbecue for lunch. Another month you could have a group of employees volunteer at a soup kitchen. The experience looks great on their resume and helps create a human connection at work.
There is an endless number of ways you can create a more human workplace and break down the walls that technology has built. Just treat your employees like humans, and the rest will come naturally.
This guest post was written by Wendy Dessler and may not be copied or published without PeopleGuru's express written permission.