We often see articles and specialists talking about what makes a good place to work. They usually use a lot of tangible data, such as salary, benefits, bonus rates and others to identify what company the professionals would like to work for, and therefore, the company that would probably have the best people.
Robert Levering, author of best sellers “The 100 best companies to work for in America” and “A great place to work”, says that, besides the data, what makes people wake up every morning and go to the office with a smile upon their face are the relationships and their quality.
For all of us, the work environment is built by three types of interconnected relationships: between the employees and the company, between the employees and their jobs and between employees and other employees. Each of those relationships are based on a essential element. Let’s go over each of them:
This essential element drives the relationship between employees and the company. This essential element, in a first moment, seems to be very elusive and nondescript, but in fact, it consists of three major factors:
- Credibility: managements must have credibility to the eyes of employees. Executives should be perceived to be competent, to have a clear view of where the organization is going, and to understand how to get there.
- Fairness: employees must perceive that the playing field is level. They want to feel that promotions and pay are based on merit and contributions rather than on political maneuvers. Cuts, when needed, need to be fair and objective.
- Respect: employees must feel that they are respected and supported as individuals.
Pride is the essential element for the relationship between employees and their job. People want to be proud of what they are doing. They want to be part of something big, of something that they can spread out to their friends, and what they are doing is not just a job. They want to feel and believe that they make difference.
This final element affects the quality of the workplace, by driving the relationship between employees themselves. People need acceptance, understanding, appreciation and enjoinment in their personal interaction with fellow staff. They also want access to one another’s beliefs, attitudes, hopes and values. This element can have a tremendous impact on cooperation among employees.
We can individually contribute to build a good (and maybe the best) place to work, by treating our colleagues respectfully and fairly, by letting the people know about for what are they doing their tasks. Or simply being friendly and caring about each other. These are just some examples, but each one of us can think about how to improve the quality of each one of the three relationships.
Nota: publicado originalmente em 2011 na Newsletter do Application Services, o departamento onde trabalho, na Johnson & Johnson.