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Create The Dream Place To Work

Create The Dream Place To Work

I love research that draws our attention to the positive aspects of leadership, people and life, and challenges you to see things differently, rather than to see what’s wrong and why new ways won’t work!

In a study done by Robert Goffee and Gareth Jones, professors at London Business School and IE Business School (Madrid) respectively, several years ago, they identified 6 virtues of a dream workplace, as follows:

  1. People can truly be themselves

This means that people can bring their “whole selves” to work, they are encouraged to express their opinions even if different to their boss or their peers, passion is encouraged even if it makes others uncomfortable, and people who are different are the norm, rather than the exception. Being yourself is core to authenticity, one of the key characteristics younger workers look for in their leaders.

  1. People are told what is REALLY going on

People are encouraged to tell the truth, even if it means bad news. They do not sanitize the true situation for senior management and pretend that all is well when it isn’t. It is not seen as being disloyal to say something negative, provided you are able to support your comments with data and evidence, and a proposed solution to the problem. One of the characteristics of effective, inspiring leaders is that they are open, honest and transparent in their communication throughout the organisation, and are great listeners who ask good questions.

  1. The organisation focuses on the strengths of their people

Everyone is given the opportunity to further develop themselves, good performers are encouraged to talk about their achievements, and weaker performers can see a path to improvement. Best employers like Google, Apple, and McDonald’s do this in multiple ways; by providing networks for people to interact with others in different parts of the business, stretch goals, and regular training. This sends a clear message to their people that they are valued and therefore worth investing in, which is a clever recruitment and retention strategy, and it works!

  1. The company stands for something meaningful, and people are proud to work there

People want to be part of something at work that is bigger than themselves, and work in an organisation makes a difference. They want to know that what they do truly makes a difference. People want to know that the organisation stands by its values, and that profit is not the only objective. They want to be proud of where they work. For example, Novo Nordisk, who produce pens for injecting insulin see themselves as “helping to save lives.” This is a key motivator for many of their people. In the same way police officers, firemen and nurses who I have interviewed, see themselves as being of service to others, and are not doing it just as a job.

Office culture
  1. People believe that their work is meaningful

Most people get up in the morning wanting to do a good job, wanting to get on with their team mates, and wanting to please their boss and do work that matters. People want to derive meaning from their daily activities at work. It is why Generation Y and Z ask the question “Why?” so often at work. They ask: “Why does it have to be done this way?” and the really courageous Generation Y and Z’s ask the question “Why do we even do this at all?” Unfortunately, it is often misinterpreted by older managers as questioning authority when the reality is that they simply want to understand how their part fits into the “big picture” and to ensure that it adds value.

  1. Stupid rules don’t exist

Do not be afraid to encourage people to question the status quo, policies, processes and procedures that no longer work, or make no sense. Consider the following research findings from our work on values, culture and leadership:

  • How people FEEL at work drives their performance
  • 70% of how people feel is influenced by their leaders
  • Authentic communication requires that you de-toxify the truth
  • A process of evolution rather than revolution, creates greater sustainable change and success.

As we are well into another new year, are you thinking about recruiting new staff, developing or revising your business strategy, changing the structure of your organisation, building a new business, or introducing new products or services? If so, you will need to focus on three things:

  • inclusive, collaborative leadership
  • attracting and retaining the best people
  • managing change effectively.

To assist you with these three challenges, we have workshops available to be run in-house in your organisation, regardless of the size or type of your business, to position yourself for the continuing economic and business challenges we face in 2019. And we have consulting services, including development of business strategies, vision and values, diversity strategies and leadership development programs.

Should you wish to make an enquiry or booking, please contact us through our website or on (02) 9818-1892.

And remember, Work is something you DO, not a place you GO!”

Here’s wishing all our clients, colleagues and friends a meaningful, successful and healthy 2019.


A New Year
A New Look
New GLAM dates have been released for this year⁠
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At Avril Henry & Associates we are about Creating Transformational Leadership⁠
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