Look for the ‘human’ in the human experience of work

More leaders than ever are focused on the human experience of work. That said, we are only seeing 17% of companies collecting formal data on the human experience. Some leaders are concerned about getting bad scores and others are concerned about what they would do with the data. Let’s tackle these two concerns.

Your people already know the answers to the survey. When leaders avoid surveys because they fear the process will alert employees to their low scores, they are missing a fundamental fact. Since the scores are a measure of how people feel, wouldn’t the people already know that? Wouldn’t the employees perhaps talk to each other about the elements of their human experience of work that are poor? Might it be possible that the people who are not involved in  that conversation are the very executives who are not asking the questions in a formal way? 

Research shows that scores are actually improving. There is data emerging that in fact the human experience of work is better right now for many, not worse. Colliers reports that 68% of people are as productive or more productive as before while remote working. Our own research, and that of Josh Bersin, show that engagement is increasing and personal development is at the forefront of the human experience of work. It is possible that your scores are more likely to increase right now … not decrease.

We need a data-driven approach to make progress. This is an unprecedented time in a place we have never been. Leaders who are concerned about tackling psychological safety can take comfort in the fact that this weighty term is nothing more than treating people properly. Employees feel psychologically safe when they experience dignity, respect, fairness, integrity and autonomy. This is all measurable.

We need practical actions. Leaders are not psychologists. We need to give people practical things they can do to improve psychological safety. That is where we come in. Our current research offers insight into things that you can do to improve the human experience – and they look like things you should already be doing!

  • Improve collaboration
  • Involve people in planning
  • Show a genuine interest in employees’ personal development
  • Help people see the meaning in their work.

In essence, to improve the human experience of work, leaders need to be more human. Makes sense. Let’s take this one step at a time.

Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith

Jeff is the Founder & CEO of SupportingLines. He is also a certified Master Corporate Executive Coach, seasoned C-suite business leader and yoga instructor.

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