Employee consciousness has shifted significantly in the past couple of years due in part to the pandemic, which prompted many to reevaluate what is important to them. As such, many people changed their priorities and values, putting a magnifying glass on their work environments. Those in the workforce became much more aware of the time spent at their job, especially if it wasn’t time well spent, causing employees to resign in staggering numbers. Now, more than ever before, companies must make workers feel valuable; this is the path to becoming a progressive workplace.
A progressive workplace is a name given to describe people-centric and intention-backed workplaces. To be considered a progressive workplace, businesses must have a clear and significant higher meaning that provides a purpose workers can get behind. Implementing a progressive workplace involves many moving parts, which we will delve deeper into.
Out With the Old
The formerly popular “command and control” management style enforced strict and unmalleable policies that did not offer employees a say or input. When employees work under a company with a managerial style like this, they often feel overworked and burdened by their job, making them much more likely to resign. There is a growing realization that the old way of operating is no longer sustainable or suitable for today‘s standards, which is why we have seen many companies turn to progressive leadership.
A progressive workplace is many things, but, above all, it is a company that functions with intention. With eight or more hours spent at our jobs, it is essential to our well-being that we feel connected to our work. In recent years, many in the workforce have realized just how drained and disconnected they felt from their work. Progressive workplaces keep team members happy, loyal, and inspired.
One of the first things companies must do on the path to becoming a progressive workplace is to ignite aspiration in their workers. To do this, companies must create a higher purpose that helps employees in the organization feel more driven and engaged. Surprisingly, many in leadership positions are still skeptical about the importance of this type of objective—how is it different from a mission statement?
A mission statement focuses on a company’s goals of achieving economic growth. A higher purpose is a force that gives workers a sense of meaning, attracts their support, inspires aspiration, and helps them feel like they have an impact on the company. When employees work for a company that has an emotional intention, they feel connected to a deeper, more satisfying part of themselves while they work.
A progressive workplace encourages its workers to provide input on various aspects of the job. You can never expect to grow, learn, and improve as a company if you don’t foster a progressive culture that encourages feedback. With a forward-facing mindset that encourages inter-level collaboration, companies can avoid worker unhappiness and increased turnover caused by archaic standards.
To install this type of collaboration, companies will usually designate opportunities for their members to vote, debate, or provide input on various aspects. With a decision-making process that actively promotes participation, employees feel like they have a stake in the company.
Progressive companies provide employees with an environment that allows them to dream, set goals, and grow. It recognizes each team member’s unique abilities and assets to the company. Although work culture is changing, many people view their jobs as just a place to earn their living, clocking in and out. However, a bountiful environment gives them a place where they can flourish at their workplace in a way they never thought possible.
The most significant part of installing a bountiful environment starts with company leadership; this can make or break your progressive workplace. The older authoritative management is null and void in a progressive workplace. Leadership must be people-centric, democratic, and collaborative—this is usually called conscious leadership. Three crucial aspects create conscious leadership: trust, authenticity, and support.
Workers must feel like they have freedom in their position, which will stem from a leader who trusts their ability to do their job correctly and deliver desired results. Trust is freedom and empowerment that keeps members from feeling like they are under a microscope. Moreover, this trust is a two-way street. When you give your employees autonomy, they grow to trust you in your leadership position and are more comfortable following you.
Just as trust works both ways, so does authenticity. Authenticity means being transparent in various areas of your leadership: feedback, performance results, business statistics, and even emotional honesty. Authenticity in these areas builds a deeper connection between multiple roles in the company, encouraging a friendly and open workspace.
Progressive workplaces must enforce a supportive environment for everyone at every position. Employees feel supported when they receive positive feedback, rewards, and consistent communication from their leaders. Many companies will provide incentives and encouragement through rewards and positive recognition, which dramatically increases performance and improves worker satisfaction. Employees want to feel appreciated for the work they do that contributes to the business’s success.
Progressive companies celebrate openness and innovation where other firms may shy away. Employees should feel empowered to voice their concerns and feelings and provide opinions on how they think the business can improve. More importantly, companies should actually use the feedback they receive. We can’t deny the interconnectedness of society, and we shouldn’t—companies can use that connection to foster growth at all levels.
Companies with a progressive mindset recognize that their employees are what bring success. They foster their team and make them feel like valuable assets to the company. It can be astounding for workers to have this type of experience because it makes them feel like they aren’t just a cog in the machine. In an environment like this, employees will arrive with a sense of excitement and connection, knowing their job invests in them.
Is your company interested in implementing a progressive workplace? Using a solution like Career Spark can help you with the process. We provide an internal mobility program that works from top to bottom to help your company match for success, find hidden gems, search for talent, and increase team member performance. When you work with Career Spark, we will improve upon every level of your company to help foster economic and cultural growth.