Creating a productive work environment

I'd be the first to admit that I don't use LinkedIn effectively, in part because I am not job hunting and in part because the ways they characterize relationships never quite fits, so it makes it clunky to me. That said, I still get leads to articles that are sometimes relevant, and this one is good enough to share on this forum (doesn't appear that you need to be a member of LinkedIn to read it).  

Why should a group emphasizing women (and diversity) in entomology, and by extension, science care about employee engagement (measure of productivity and thus profits in the broad sense)? Because unless you are working in a vacuum, one of their major findings about the value of perks will give you a clue about the kind of workplace and/or learning environment you want to find or create for those working with you (hint: one that embraces flex-time).

One of the things that bothered me about this article, however, is in the list of talents of high-performing managers: in two of the five talents, the descriptors use "natural(ly)," intimating that these cannot be learned. He later quotes, however:

“They share, teach, coach, support, and appreciate their employees,” Harter told me. Regardless of what’s on their plate, they invest the time to know their people personally, what motivates them – their career dreams and aspirations. And “this kind of nurturing is the undercurrent of all five talents.”

We all want to be appreciated and least this is my assumption. What do you think?


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  • Hi Gail,

    Your post reminds me of a study I heard about on our local public radio station recently (which of course I can't seem to find online to share...but there are other studies that support this) that first-generation college students (i.e., those that are the first in their families to attend college) have more success (higher graduations rates, GPAs, etc.) when they have at least one faculty member who they can consider as a mentor.  A big part of the impact of the relationship is attributed to students feeling like there is someone that cares about them and knows them personally, and in turn, the students gain confidence and feel engaged in the college environment, even though it is entirely new for them. 

    It's a good reminder...any of us that are in a role where we can influence employee attitudes about the workplace environment should promote taking the time to understand. and build-on, the personal motivations of those with whom we work. It's so easy to just check off our to-do lists and not take the extra steps to make a difference in our work environments.

    Or, in the words of my son's third-grade teacher "When the kids are happy, they learn better."  We all do our jobs better when we are happy!  AND...working in a affirming environment can certainly promote that feeling! 


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