Making Work Human: The Human Enterprise

October 9, 2020 John Baldino

3-minute read

(This is the first post in our new blog series breaking down each chapter of “Making Work Human.”)

woman on computer

In today’s workplace, technology is pervasive. Clusters of cubicles wired for high-speed internet connection, VoIP phone communications, and video-based interaction – it’s a world that used to be found only on “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” or “Star Trek,” but is now commonplace in the global workplace. And yet, in almost every way, the lean into the human experience is what makes this technological revolution most effective.

In the first chapter of “Making Work Human,” called “The Human Enterprise,” Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine lay a strong foundation for the positive benefits of employee recognition, not only for the individual employee, but for the organization as a whole. The fabric of recognition is a point of matter. Matter, not in the earth science or metaphysical sense, but rather, in the context of human affirmation. Eric and Derek show that without seeing the contributions of the individual, the entire organization and its culture fall short of its best.

A positive employee experience is no longer a nice-to-have, but a business necessity. The belief is more than esoteric. With the advent of technology, employees for the last 70 years have worried that their contributions would, at the very least, be minimized – at worst, discarded. This first chapter emphasizes that technology can never replace the heart and dynamism of the individual. The robots are not taking over, and organizations need to make that point clear. 

In the examples of those organizations offered in the first chapter, we see that the necessary heartbeat of success is still found in people, not technology. Software and machine learning are tools to make the human experience more defined and more intentional. And it’s in those truths that inspiration is born. The authors highlight research that shows setting the right technological environment in the workplace can help develop soft skills like flexibility, critical communication, and leadership.

Ultimately, your people will give their best to the organization because they clearly see how they fit, how they can grow, and where they can go. Demanding the best from your teams is a strategy, but Eric and Derek point out that everyone wants an effective strategy, not just any strategy. That’s why they set the tone for the entire book in this chapter by affirming the human enterprise. Focusing on humanity in the workplace is both financially beneficial and relationally effective. It’s in these truths that the rest of “Making Work Human” unfolds.

Eric and Derek draw us back to the foundational truths of competition, change, and commoditization. Without consistent disruption, organizations find themselves lacking quickly. A human enterprise acknowledges that the wisest disruptors are within your organizational walls. How can you draw out this brilliance? By nurturing and liberating that human creativity and passion. 

Dynamic and evolving workplaces featuring uplifted and equipped humans will fare better than their competition. The challenge to be motivated to build and accentuate such workplaces is in front of us, according to the authors. Will we take up the cause?

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About the Author

John Baldino

John is president at Humareso and an SPHR and SHRM-SCP certified professional with more than 25 years of HR experience.

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