This week’s thoughts: Creating a great environment.

I have long believed in the importance of managing energy levels. It is common sense that we do our best work when we are feeling fired up, in a positive sense. This article reinforced my belief.

It also honed in on an aspect that I believe is crucial for leaders; how critical it is to focus on developing people. Most people desperately want to learn and grow, and will perform to exceptional levels for leaders that commit to their growth. For some leaders, it is counter-intuitive to develop people so much that they get promoted out of the team, but this is definitely a secret to building exceptional teams. From the article: “leaders focused on contributing to others are substantially more effective than leaders focused on personal achievement and success”.

I had expected the article to talk about how useful this positive energy is for attracting and retaining talent, with the primary beneficiaries of a leader’s positive energy to be the employees, and it talked abut this. But an interesting twist was how this positive energy helps unlock innovation and performance — which are goals of pretty much every organization.

Rethinking Your Approach to the Employee Experience

Focus on treating employees like people! It boggles my mind that so many organizations need to be reminded of this. As labour markets continue to tighten, many organizations are worrying about introducing better compensation and perks. Paying people fairly is just the bare minimum. Of course you need to. But organizations need to consider several factors; financial security, physical comfort, and emotional well-being. If an employer is not meeting all three needs, employees simply will not contribute as effectively.

The article also refers to an idea that I have been preaching for literally years; you can’t pretend that people’s work lives and personal lives are separate things. They simply aren’t. There is simply one person, and they bring work issues home and bring their personal issues to work. If someone’s personal life is falling apart, they will not be as effective at work. And employers need to be understanding of that.

One aspect of this article that I disagree with is the idea that companies should try to serve some grand societal purpose. My view might be unpopular in today’s climate, but that has never stopped me from sharing my views. 😉 I feel like striving to solve some grand societal issue can be a very worthy goal, but I don’t see it as being necessary. If they have one, great. But a company can exist just to bring cool stuff into the world, without it needing to be connected to some giant social purpose.

Quote that I have been reflecting on

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life that you don’t need to escape.” — Seth Godin

This quote really resonated with me; it is powerful. Life is way too short to be wishing it away, toiling in a job that does not work for you. Change is often difficult. But life is even harder if you aren’t living the life that you want.

Figure out what you want from your work, and then steadily make progress.

Journal Prompt

This week’s journal prompt encourages you to think about your legacy.

If today was a holiday in your honour, what would we be celebrating?

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Tim Parkins

Tim Parkins

Career Coach & Work Architect. Work shouldn’t be something you hate doing. I can help you get there.