How to move on from here. Workshop with results

Every workplace has its own culture and atmosphere, built and continuously renewed by the actual people in the company. You clearly sense it when changing job: the workpace ”scent”, an sense for what is great or not so great. Sticking together, energy levels, management style, meeting culture. Absense due to sickness, resignations, stress, gossip. Collaboration issues and conflict. Etc, etc.

One thing is to have an unclear feel for well-being and culture. Another, to have a common language for the individual experience (what is a good balance between work and personal life? What is leadership?) A third, to actually decide: what will we do to secure workplace thriving?

You can measure the workplace environment (you must, it’s in the law 😊!) or a more detailed, thriving-oriented measurement like GAIS. When results are available, they’ll need interpretation and a plan must be developed. Eg this can happen:

  • Senior management decide what to do, and assign HR to implement. There is a risk of actual initiatives being perceived as irrelevant or less important than the “core mission”. Team leaders may not be fully mobilized and are not supportive. Staff see the project sink to the bottom of the agenda and cynicism spreads…..”we’ve heard that one before…”….
  • Or, work is delegated to the individual teams, and a long discussion begins. Problems may be understood differently. Individuals dominate the work. Representatives are feeling left out or used as rubber stamps. Initiatives are agreed per the ”least common denominator” principle.

A caricature, yes, definitely! But the balance between top-down and consensus is an extra hard nut to crack, when the topic is workplace thriving. It is a phenomenon so individually experienced, and still so collectively important, that an extra process step is relevant between measurement/observation and action plan: a Design Thinking workshop.

The workshop uses methods for structured articulation of all participants’ insight, eg by preventing individuals’ dominance in the group. Leverages timeboxed idea generation and is executed in accordance with a strict schedule, a total of approx. 2 hours. Works with relevant topics: measurement points or observations (sickness leave, meeting culture, energy levels after lockdown, introduction of new staff,..). Is scaleable from 4 to a very high number of participants (I have personal experience with up to 60). Best results when everyone is physically together.

Who joins? The leadership team, workplace environment team, a specific team. The workshop ALWAYS drives a documented result: what are the most important problems, and which initiatives are seen as most suitable and effective.  

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