Creating the Best Workplaces of the Future [Video]By Nick Stein on July 31, 2012 in The Future of Work
Robert Levering is the Co-Founder of The Great Place to Work Institute and the Co-Author (with Milton Moskowitz) of Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List.
Recently, Levering sat down for a conversation exploring The Future of Work with John C. Havens, co-author of the book “Tactical Transparency: How Leaders Can Leverage Social Media to Maximize Value and Build their Brand.”
The video is below. Here’s a brief summary…
Changing Consciousness for Corporations
The Future of Work isn’t just about the tools or methodologies enlightened organizations are providing employees. It’s about evolving the quality of company environments and how society thinks about work in general. As Levering notes in his interview, “Our mission is to build a better society by helping companies transform their workplaces. The Fortune List is something that’s as important for changing consciousness as it is in changing individual companies.”
Levering’s work in this field began after he wrote a book with his co-author Milton Moskowitz, Everybody’s Business, a guide to the corporate world. It inspired their editor to write a book based on the 100 Best Companies to Work For, which came out in 1984 and became a bestseller. They discovered there were three primary attributes that made an organization a great place in which to work:
- Trust between employees and management
- Employee’s pride in their work
- Camaraderie in the workplace
These three points, as Levering notes throughout his interview, are evergreen in terms of their importance to work throughout the ages. Whatever tools or platforms may evolve, trust and communication remain paramount for establishing quality workplaces with higher productivity.
Transparency As a Tool
Levering focuses on why people are using social and mobile technology — rather than how. For instance, when senior leadership or the C-Suite enables communication with employees, that open transparency provides the ROI that drives trust in the organization overall.
Two examples of this are how the company Genentech lets employees send questions directly to the CEO that are directly answered within 48 hours, and CEO of DreamWorks Animation Jeffrey Katzenberg has posted candid blogs about fun events, like the time he got to tour Westminster Abbey with Jack Black. When employees know they can connect with leadership and are heard on the issues important to them, the Future of Work is very promising for those organizations.
While the tools of Social Media have increased many opportunities to communicate, they can also take away from a focus on face-to-face meetings or interactions. As Levering notes in his interview, “I was doing an interview with someone at DreamWorks and he noted that one of the real problems of electronic media is that people use email or Facebook where they used to speak to each other. He felt the electronic media is sometimes overused.”
This focus on extending in-person relationships also extends to colleague appreciation. While social media tools and methodologies can be utilized to aggregate positive feedback, there should still be a focus of building value, camaraderie, and specific feedback loops that can drive company goals. “If you rely on the media to create community and reduce the human touch, you can keep the best communication from happening.”
Watch the Video: