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What Makes a Great Place to Work?

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Our place to work is turning more and more into a space to work: offices, hotels, airports, planes, trains, tablets, phones, social media, kitchens, and bedrooms amongst others.

We work in intact teams, cross-functional teams, virtual teams, project teams.

We focus on agile ways of working, change and transformation while delivering results, developing and implementing new ideas, continuous improvement, learning and working on professional growth…

Oh, and not to forget, being a great parent, a socially active and responsible person, a good partner, a nice person, trying to live our life to the max and exploring the path to happiness to capture some moments of bliss.

What does it take across all this complexity, volatile moments and superficial connections to build a great place to work?

To deliver results together with others while living a good life, at work and beyond.

A clear inner compass

Inviting and guiding people to find their own inner compass is crucial for them to be grounded and energized.

The inner compass is built on the synthesis of purpose (WHY do I do what I do?), values (HOW do I make difficult choices) and vision (WHAT do I do/where am I going?).

The clear actionable purpose feeds the inspiration and fuels the energy, the values set the emotional boundaries and the vision triggers the dreams and aspirations.

To invite people to explore and find their inner compass is essential for long term health and value creation.

Even more powerful is when they link their personal inner compass with the organization’s compass: mission (purpose), values, vision.

When people share their inner compass, they feel seen and appreciated as a human being.

This is one of the deepest human needs/yearnings and results in one of the most powerful transformational interventions.

A meaningful challenge

We are living in an era where people more and more are not looking for a job, but for a meaningful challenge.

Meaningful because they want to contribute to a better world, also because it gives them a better sense of self-esteem and higher energy levels.

People want to be invited and challenged to bring their best and make a difference.

They want to live their own life fostering their inner compass in the context of the organisation, not the other way around.

Peter Drucker said: concrete goals mobilise people.

Today we would need to say: meaningful concrete goals mobilise people.

A healthy fabric of trust

Anxiety is the biggest blocker for change.

What would people need to turn anxiety into courage?

Five universal anxieties have been identified: injustice, betrayal, humiliation, abandonment and rejection.

For people to thrive, these anxieties need to be reduced.

The solutions are transparency, trust, appreciation, inclusion and intimacy.

These are the vitamins that need to be structurally multiplied throughout the whole organisation.

We may know these five vitamins from our employee engagement surveys.

When looking very closely at the five vitamins, that is what people are yearning for in their feedback.

That is the ultimate set of transformational capabilities we would need to demand from our leaders.

Robert Lubberding

Robert Lubberding

Coaching | Leadership | Governance


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