Growth Comes Best In A More Human Workplace

Recognize This! – Growth within a human workplace combines traditional learning opportunities with the recognition of a challenge- and fun-oriented mindset.

In today’s post, I wanted to revisit a set of findings from the 2016 WorkHuman Research Institute ROI of Recognition survey. As we explored the sets of practices that contribute to a more human and caring workplace, a concept emerged that emphasized the importance of growth and development.

In particular, I was thinking about this concept as I read through a recent post from Bersin by Deloitte on scaling a culture of continuous learning. Two parallels are of note. First, like continuous learning, growth within a human workplace requires a different mindset and approach to learning and development activities. Second, both of these forms of development need to be deeply embedded within the cultural fabric of the organization, practiced on a daily rather than intermittent basis.

Let’s dig deeper into each of these.

The human workplace

Our concept of growth within a human workplace builds upon traditional more human workplaceapproaches to learning and development. As our own research has found, there needs to be a foundation of learning activities. For example, employees that perceived “opportunities to grow and learn in their jobs” were 2x more likely to perceive that their leaders care about creating a human workplace.

And yet employees also spoke to a mindset that was broader in nature.

That mindset speaks to the presence of challenge and fun within the workplace as levers for continuous employee development. Within more human workplaces, employees were almost 2x more likely to believe that they are able to “find a solution for any challenge.” That mindset is more likely to also occur where employees perceive a “company culture that is fun and enjoyable” and “passionately believe in the organization’s core values.”

Not merely seeking pleasure for its own sake, “fun” and “challenge” transform into a sense of striving toward one’s potential, seeking out problems to solve, and achieving growth that is aligned with core values and purpose.

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How can this mindset become a part of the fabric of everyday work?

The social recognition piece

Perhaps not surprising, social recognition provides a timely and frequent way for everyone in the company to call attention to colleagues finding solutions, expanding their own skills and knowledge, and working together to overcome challenges. Each recognition moment reflects an instance of growth happening in real time. The data provided by these moments can allow managers to have richer developmental conversations with their reports, and allow greater awareness across the company of where expertise exists.

Across the organization, recognition embeds the acknowledgement of learning and growth opportunities into everyday work, to help ensure that it is a continuous process and ultimately contributes to the creation of a more human and more adaptable organization.

What type of growth opportunities do you see on a daily basis that could be recognized?

Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their company culture. As the Vice President of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek helps clients — including some of world’s most admired companies such as Proctor and Gamble, Intuit, KPMG, and Thomson Reuters — leverage recognition strategies and best practices to better manage company culture, elevate employee engagement, increase retention, and improve the bottom line. He's also a renowned speaker and co-author of Winning with a Culture of Recognition. Contact him at irvine@globoforce.com.

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