22 October 2015

Creating Workplace Vitality™ - A Sense of Belonging and Empowerment

This week, we are releasing our brand new Mars Drinks global study of the workplace. It launches the concept of Workplace Vitality™ which describes a workplace that is vibrant, thriving, and alive with potential at the intersection of collaboration, engagement, well-being, and productivity. Wow. Who doesn’t want to work in that kind of place?

Frankly, I’m really excited about our research. Based on a survey of over 3800 people globally, it’s substantive data. It tells us that we’re onto something with the concept of Workplace Vitality™ (90% of respondents agreed) and it points to the interrelationships between collaboration, engagement, well-being, and productivity. Workplace Vitality™ is at the junction of these pillars, and is created when organizations pay attention to all of them – and not one at the expense of any other. In fact, our data demonstrates that when companies attend to collaboration, engagement, and well-being, productivity is in turn enhanced. But the opposite isn’t true. Excessive focus on productivity at the expense of the other pillars, actually has negative consequences. This is especially interesting because it reinforces the fact that organizations must focus on people in order to be effective. Focusing on people – doing the right thing for people – has positive effects on the organization as a whole in terms of metrics such as productivity.

Our Workplace Vitality™ research also reinforces the incredible importance of recognition. Far from a simple ‘technique’ of management, it is critical to the total experience of work, and to employees who feel engaged, energized, and motivated to contribute their best and their discretionary time to the organization – to give their best effort.

One way that we can recognize people is by taking time with them. Listening, focusing, providing feedback, and sharing a cup of coffee together sends a strong message of value and appreciation. Since I arrived at Mars Drinks, it’s been fascinating to dive deeper into the meaning of coffee and drinks in the work environment. They are a big deal – and bigger than you might think. They are an important social norm in all the cultures we studied and they are a fundamental way that we connect. “Let’s grab a cup of coffee,” is the language we use to pave the way toward deepening relationships, inviting conversations to work through issues, or sharing time with colleagues where we’re taking a quick break to refresh and revive. It’s a norm in our workplaces, and perhaps more importantly, in our connections with each other.

And this is what it’s really about: Creating Workplace Vitality™ such that people feel a sense of belonging and empowerment. Organizations can create the conditions for this kind of workplace, a place where people can fully contribute themselves, their skills, and their best efforts.

Tags: Workplace Vitality