Now Is the Perfect Time to Create a Human Work Experience

October 6, 2020 Sharlyn Lauby

3-minute read

Making Work Human book cover

This year continues to challenge norms and change the way we operate on every level. From the customer service agent to the accounting clerk to the front-line manager and senior executive, our employees – our humans – remain the key differentiator in our organizations.

It’s that premise that makes the book “Making Work Human: How Human-Centered Companies are Changing the Future of Work and the World” by Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine so compelling, especially for HR leaders and executives. A few months ago, when the pandemic forced organizations to make bold moves centered on how their businesses would operate, some businesses closed completely, and others modified the way work got done. Now, according to Mosley and Irvine, organizations have the opportunity to take those bold actions to the next level. 

Organizations want HR to take the lead

HR departments like yours have been on the frontlines of 2020. You’ve seen how the events of this year have impacted employees and operations. No other department is better positioned to initiate and lead the change effort. In “Making Work Human,” Mosley and Irvine offer a roadmap for futureproofing the business and recommend HR lead the transition from an “employee” experience strategy to a “human” work experience. To offer a sneak peek into the roadmap, here are the three pillars to creating a “human” work experience:

·      THANK means expressing authentic appreciation for someone’s work effort or positive behavior. We know that recognizing employees for their hard work in a way that’s meaningful for them is essential to performance and growth. 

·      TALK is the way employees grow and encourage one another toward common goals. Not only should employees receive support and encouragement from their manager, but peer-to-peer relationships hold tremendous value and keep employees engaged.

·      CELEBRATE is how we share our humanity, and our common purpose. Employees have purpose when they can understand how their work connects to the organization. It’s how workplace cultures are defined and sustained.  

What makes the three pillars useful is their ability to flex with any workplace scenario: onsite employees, remote employees, as well as a hybrid workforce. These pillars can be nurtured in-person or facilitated through technology. As HR leaders, we have to realize that “human” doesn’t mean anti-technology. We deal with technology all the time. It’s about having a good relationship with technology that performs a valuable work function. It’s about capturing and amplifying these human moments that matter.

A new “human” work experience deserves its own charter

To truly put humans first, we must acknowledge certain expectations about work. Instead of using those expectations to create an employee experience strategy, Mosley and Irvine use the three pillars to codify those employee expectations, like having a human work experience, into a charter of workplace rights.

Charter of Workplace Rights Vision

  • A place where people deserve to grow to their greatest potential through training, feedback, and rewards 
  • A place where people feel secure to express their views and ideas, with respect for themselves and others 
  • A place where people can use their talents and voice for good 
  • A place that supports environmental, social, and economic sustainability 

To learn more, you’ll want to pick up your own copy of “Making Work Human.” It’s a critical guide for HR leaders navigating this do-more-with-less environment and looking for a strong transition from 2020 into the years ahead.

Now is the time to prepare for renewed competition in talent acquisition, different employee expectations, including health benefits and career development, as well as increased technological opportunities. Embracing the charter of workplace rights and having a proven strategy for creating a human work experience will allow your organization to succeed. 

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About the Author

Sharlyn Lauby

Sharlyn Lauby is author of HR Bartender blog and president at ITM Group, Inc.

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