The Whole Self – Creating a Workplace Where People Matter

We recently had the pleasure of connecting with an amazing multinational company which was truly an inspiring meeting of minds where we came away beaming with excitement knowing there are high-performing companies out there who truly care for their people, their development, and their wellbeing. During the meeting, we spoke about the importance of putting people first and creating an environment where people bring their whole self to work.

As humans, we all want to be seen and to feel authentic, whether at work or at home. According to Gallup, the average American who is employed full-time reports working an average of 47 hours per week – that’s a lot of time to spend if you feel that your “real self” is only seen outside the office.

That is why when it comes to workplace culture, it’s important to create and encourage an environment where people feel authentic and connected. Our relationships, including those with our colleagues, can have a profound effect on our wellbeing. In a recent article of ours, we explained how happiness is contagious and how one person’s happiness can positively affect his or her colleagues, teams, departments, and the organization at large.

When assessing your workplace culture, one thing to consider is the language that the company uses. Think about it for a moment – do you refer to your people as “employees” or “valued team members”? How we communicate, how we provide feedback, and how we talk to each other is important. For more on this, take a look at our article which explores the power of your word and why what you say actually matters.

Next time you have a team meeting, start by connecting with your people before launching into the agenda. Perhaps kick-off your meetings by introducing something unique that aligns with your culture, or encourage people to bring in a coffee or morning snack. Next, go around the room and have people share a couple of things they’re currently really passionate about. By opening ourselves up and sharing our passions, we bring our whole self to work, we allow ourselves to be seen, and we create a platform for discussion and connection. All we need to do is find one thing in common with our colleagues and a connection is formed. Connection is never too far away if we invite it. It’s a simple as that.

What strategies does your workplace currently use to create connection amongst its colleagues? What ways might you be able to increase connection and authenticity in the workplace?

Remember, it always starts with a connection.