Organisations have a lot of structures put in place like vision statements, mission statements, values, work ethics standards, followed by engagement policies, dos and donts and musts and shoulds that facilitate the work place environment. These structures also define the organisation both externally and internally. But, more often than not these only hang on the walls of the organisations as posters and on landing pages of the websites and brochures of the organisation. I recently read an article by Mary Barra. CEO, General Motors Company, that was titled, ‘Six things that make a good workplace great‘. She mentions that the workplace should be safe, engaged, diverse, enabled, aligned and driven.

Well these are fantastic pointers that if achieved can surely make a good workplace great! And they are necessary, but they certainly do not guarantee that every employee is feeling great within. Working in a great workplace is not the same as “I am feeling GREAT within“. On the contrary, if all the employees are feeling great within when working in an organisation, and when backed up by a good set of organizational values, then the organisation would most surely be one of the greatest places to work in.

Most organisations make the mistake of focussing on the agenda of creating a great workplace atmosphere and clearly base it on the assumption that all the employees are thereby going to be empowered and would automatically feel great too. That would be absolutely wrong! Just like Britain opting to exit the EU does not translate to every citizen of Britain wanting their country to exit the EU, standing first, second, third on a list of great places to work, does not translate to every employee feeling empowered and great themselves within an organisation.  So a great workplace, would that be a myth?

After having successfully partnered with some promising work places to improve their work environment I have come to realise that most organisations always intend to create a great workplace environment. It is often only a very small number of people that come in the way of it being a great place to work in. Not so much the values and qualities of the workplace that are up on the walls. In my experience what is never addressed and almost always overlooked and often taken for granted is the cleanliness of the inter-personnel and the intra-personal space of the members of the organisation. That when addressed can actually make every member of an organisation feel great from within which when backed up by good values in the organization would then automatically translate into the statement – ‘This is a GREAT WORKPLACE!‘.

So the question is then how do we truly achieve a great workplace?

Just like to have a healthy and a great set of teeth one needs to brush them everyday and follow it up with periodical check ups with the dentist, similarly corporate executives and core team members of organisations and even more so crucial members/partners whose getting along is extremely critical for the organisation need to wipe clean their inter-personal spaces very regularly and every once in a while go through mandatory exercises to deal with any baggage that may have developed over a period of time.

Some basic and essential (..but not limited to..) steps that people should periodically go through in a religious manner that would eventually convert every organisation into a great workplace and also create a quantum leap in productivity in the organisation and also sharply increase the overall revenues are :

  1. Clean up your workplace relationships with every colleague you interact with directly or indirectly.
  2. Speak face to face with people and clear up misunderstandings on a regular basis.
  3. Ensure frequent feedbacks from seniors, peers and even subordinates on whether you are meeting what is officially expected of you that you may be over-looking.
  4. Similarly cross-check for things that you might be over-doing that may be interfering with or impeding on other colleagues’ work spaces.
  5. These are just some points but all of the above need to be exercised on a bedrock of integrity and authenticity.

Regularly cleaning up the inter-personnel and intra-personal space in this manner would most certainly ensure that you are working in a great organisation even if the organisation is not listed on top of such surveys that are conducted.

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