What happens when you impose tremendous changes in the workplace -– ubiquitous technology, 24/7 globalization and hyper-efficiency –- but fail to change the way you work? We have become less efficient, unable to plan or prioritize work; less effective, substituting speed for strategy and innovation; more isolated, as technology (paradoxically) reduces real human interaction; unable to get our own work done, as we sit through an endless string of meetings; and more harried, as the dividing line between work and home disappears. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
our approach to solving the problem
The Better Work Institute helps motivate teams to discover new and better ways of working – better for them and their organizations.
Our approach is based on the premise that:
- Employees are in the best position to rethink their own work.
- Personal benefits are a powerful motivator of ongoing change.
- A single team (versus top-down, or organization-wide) is the best starting place for change.
- Rethinking work is not a one-time event, but rather requires continuous reflection and improvements.
We start by exploring what issues frustrate employees in their day-to-day work, what they truly value about their work, and what matters to each employee personally. We seek to challenge their assumptions about how “it has to be” at work. Our goal is to get individuals to realize that things they thought could never change, can and will change, and will improve their work and their lives.
Here's what we do:
- Initially, we spend time interviewing the entire team, and administer a customized survey.
- Next, we work with the team to identify a common issue that frustrates them, which can become the catalyst for broader change in how they work. Our objective is to get individuals to realize that change they never thought possible is possible.
- We serve as facilitators to help teams create safe space for open dialogue, learn to raise previously unmentioned concerns, and work together to address problems that surface in real-time.
Working together to address a common issue, the team realizes that change is possible and thus feels empowered and inspired to work together to address additional issues. The process continues to get deeper and richer as people feel more comfortable raising concerns and feel empowered to experiment with bigger changes in how they work.
Success is Viral
Based on the success with an initial team, we collaborate with management to roll out the approach more broadly across the organization. Our work generates grass-roots interest in creating change. The positive word-of-mouth reinforces the successful outcomes of the initial team and motivates other teams to try our approach. Once the concept has been proven with a few teams, we work with leadership to build their internal capabilities to scale the effort going forward.