Increasingly, employee demands are changing in the workplace: but are businesses keeping up with these changes in demand in order to retain their talent?
With the dawn of the information age, we have seen the biggest shift in human perception since the industrial revolution. With dramatic changes in the way and speed in which people communicate, it is only natural that new ideas are spreading quicker. Through social media, blogging and other digital forms of communication, people are sharing their views, dreams, ambitions, wants, desires and frustrations. As people share all of this information, they gain confidence in their individual wants and needs as they see them mirrored in thousands of others. As a global community online nowadays, it only takes a well written tweet to change organisational policy and structure.
So where does this leave employers? Staff are increasingly looking for meaning and purpose in their working environments. Gone is the Victorian attitude to the workplace, where it was simply a place to earn enough money to pay for a roof over your head and put food on the table. People (especially the talented ones) are looking to forward thinking organisations like Google, Netflix and Virgin, where unlimited holiday, staff canteens, nap pods, haircuts and onsite doctors demonstrate an emphasis on employee wellbeing. These organisations have realised that through increasing staff wellbeing, using simple positive psychological interventions, and encouraging employees to increasingly find purpose at work, productivity is dramatically increased. Employees become ‘stakeholders’ and the outdated Victorian ‘master / servant’ management style is being trashed in favour of people-friendly leadership in a flat structure. A friend recently said that her favourite CEO could be seen regularly warming his canned soup in the kitchen microwave instead of going out to expensive business lunches. To her, this was a mark of humility and a willingness to ‘get into the trenches with the foot-soldiers’ which increased her loyalty and work ethic considerably.
A good Positive Psychologist or Business / Executive Coach becomes essential to any business once you take this emerging trend into account. A Positive Psychologist can work on a consultancy basis with an organisation, taking into account the many aspects which have a profound effect on employee fulfilment and happiness. A Positive Psychologist will look at the cognitive and emotional needs of employees, and using coaching can help ‘grease the wheels’ between the ‘wonderfully messy and diverse’ human being and the rigid uncompromising organisational structure. A Business / Executive Coach can help employees find more purpose at work, though encouraging them to get a clearer understanding of their individual strengths and weaknesses and how they can utilize this knowledge in the workplace. Health and safety also plays an important role in staff wellbeing, and a Positive Psychologist can examine the affects on the body and minds of employees, from having the right lighting to ensuring there is adequate ventilation.
A Positive Psychologist will also look at workload and scheduling. This can have a huge effect on levels of stress and anxiety, along with job content and control. If a role is very repetitive for example, this can tend to get in the way of staff members engaging fully with their job. Finally, a Positive Psychologist can look at the culture and values of a business, and how the staff within that business relate to these. Are they aligned? And how can they become aligned further? This area of positive psychological study can also cover leadership and positive organisational relationships. How can employees work together better in order to increase happiness, fulfilment, purpose and therefore productivity and turnover?
Positive psychology has now been in full swing for several decades, and the amount of research is growing daily. It all points in one direction. It is worth the time and money to focus on staff wellbeing if an organisation wishes to increase productivity and turnover. Studies have shown a strong correlation between increased staff wellbeing and decreased illness, stress, staff turnover as well as increased productivity, engagement and loyalty.
If you are interested in finding out more about how a positive psychologist and business coach can have a significant effect on your business, contact me today for a free consultation. I am a Masters level trained Positive Psychologist and coach as well as mindfulness trainer, and cover the Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and London areas. I have over 10 years’ experience in working closely with businesses, helping them to attract, retain and motivate their talent. I can act as a broker between employee and business, and help ‘grease the wheels’ in order to ensure a smoother and more efficient workplace.