It’s Time to Redefine “Work”

It’s Time to Redefine “Work”

Take a moment and think about a time when you were your best at work. What made it so great?

For too many people, being their best and being at work don’t happen at the same time. And it’s given work a bad reputation.

The Smiths’ (long forgotten) 1987 cover of “Work Is A Four-Letter Word” nailed it:



People say that you were born lazy
'Cause you say that
Work Is A Four-Letter Word 

So change your life
There is so much I know
That you can do

Thirty years later, many people and organizations still struggle with a negative view of work. The belief persists that work is a place and time where people are constrained, less fulfilled and unable to be their true selves.

But people’s expectations of work are changing. So much has been written about millennials and their needs, but these shifts apply across the workforce. Transparency and access to information, technology shifts, and trends toward temporary work are all having an impact.

For organizations, addressing these expectations is at the core of how they can attract, develop and retain people.

being-your-best-at-work-and-home

In a world where connections, information and decisions can be made at anytime and anyplace, people see the lines blurring between work life and home life. It’s all life. So, why should you need to be someone different on the clock than off? 

Organizations and HR leaders need to know what it takes to bring out the best in people given these changes. How can they create that feeling more often? Because the feeling of being your best at work shouldn’t be a rare occurrence.

Sure, a generation ago workers were more likely to accept the status quo even when they couldn’t get what they wanted or needed from employers.

But that mindset isn’t the norm anymore. Change is happening faster today than any other time in history. People see the world shifting around them and question why can’t work Change too?

Embrace the inevitable

In the conversations we’ve had with our customers, it’s become increasingly clear that organizational success relies on putting people first in their approach to work. The research confirms it.

Here’s why:

People won’t stay with employers that don’t help them be at their best. So, if organizations won’t adjust the way they operate, today’s workforce will find an employer who will.

Do you want to work for a company that isn’t willing to make improvements? Particularly when that company only pushes you to do better once a year during your performance review?

I’m guessing your answer is no.

There’s a better way

work-is-being-redefined

Progressive organizations are adopting a more agile, continuous approach to performance management. They understand that building their business around the needs of people and teams is the key to fostering greater innovation and engagement, and getting an edge on the competition.

People want to contribute their skills and passions in a meaningful way. They want to work with managers who show they truly care about their people. They want to learn new skills and grow beyond their current role.

And they want to work in an environment that feels like a connected community, led by people they trust.

These expectations are impacting how progressive organizations practice performance management.

So, organizations that want to keep good people need to take notice. Because we all know it can be expensive and challenging to find the right person after a high performer leaves.

Help people be their best

It doesn’t matter where you live in the world, every one of us wants to feel valued, accepted, connected and fulfilled. Innovative organizations are tapping into this truth by paying close attention to what employees need to be their best every day – at work and in life.

Organizations that thrive put people at the center by focusing on the whole person. They make it a priority to get to know what their people want, to understand how they see their future and the strengths they have to offer.

Here’s why:

  • Giving people freedom to bring their true selves to work fosters acceptance.
  • Providing opportunities to grow shows people they’re valued.
  • Fostering teams that trust each other and work well together creates connection.
  • Knowing how your work fits in the bigger picture, being recognized for your part is fulfilling.

Work is a big part of life. When you start your workday, the rest of your life is still on your mind. And when you leave work at the end of the day, it doesn’t mean you stop thinking about the work you’re doing.

When work is good, the rest of life is better. And it feels great when you look forward to work.

Work is being redefined


Change is hard. We get it. We’ve been there, too.

But we know this approach works. How do we know? Because we live it every day.

We know first-hand that putting people first works because it’s how we operate. We’re not perfect, but we’re committed to bringing out the best in people and teams.

It’s making a difference for us and we know it can make a difference for you, too.

Tags:  For Employees For Managers


Helpful Resources

NEW ebook: How to shift from traditional to ongoing performance management

NEW ebook: How to shift from traditional to ongoing performance management

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How to select a talent management system: Secrets from the experts

How to select a talent management system: Secrets from the experts

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ebook: Discover 5 ways to transform the annual performance review

ebook: Discover 5 ways to transform the annual performance review

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