| | DECEMBER 20199ANY COMPANY THAT'S STRIVING TO BE A GREAT PLACE OF WORK SEES FUN & HUMOR AND RELAXATION NOT AS THE ENEMIES OF HARD WORK, BUT AS ITS ALLIES Leadership messages/cascades from the top. Communication of leadership messages should be less about sending mails and more about team huddles where the style is much more interactive. Or-ganisations should aim for period-ic colleague briefing sessions not just to share information but also to take ideas to develop plans to-gether on how we can improve the workplace. Openness to both negative and positive feedback ­ Conversa-tions should take place in such a way that it is constructive with openness to both negative and pos-itive feedback, regardless of desig-nation. This is what will foster an environment that allows individu-als to grow. Focus on the Right MessagesMore than just choosing various modes of communication, focus-ing on giving employees the right messages with radical honesty is important. Organisations must make great efforts to communi-cate what is going on if they are to be heard and believed. Com-munication efforts must focus on achieving the following: Instilling a sense of pride in the employee for the company they work with. If this is achieved, employees will be proud to tell others where they work. They will be aware and value what the com-pany stands for. Making work meaningful - This involves helping employees with their careers and understand-ing that not all career paths are built the same. Developmental ex-periences at work, strong training programs, reimbursed tuition for education outside of work along with active, well-thought out plat-forms for mentoring can provide pathways for non-traditional career paths. Eliminating the need for work-life balance - Understand that peo-ple have lives outside of work, and that these lives might sometimes impinge on (or even take over) their time and attention. It's not just about providing a few flexible work options (a first necessary step though), but how we let employees be the same person at home and at work and thus moving away from the need for balance. It is give and take, not give or take.Recognize Diversity ­ Not Just In Gender & AgeWe too often confine ourselves to the traditional diversity catego-ries of gender, age and the like. These efforts are laudable, but this is something more subtle ­ differences in perspectives, habits of mind and core assumptions. We are moving from traditional diversity trainings/discussions to talking about `unconscious bias'. It is a bias that happens auto-matically and is triggered by our brain making quick judgments and assessments of people and situations, influenced by our back-ground, cultural environment and personal experiences. See Fun & Humour as AlliesAny company that's striving to be a great place of work sees fun & humor and relaxation not as the enemies of hard work, but as its allies. I have seen many compa-nies trying to project manage this aspect by putting `committees' to-gether. While in some cases, these may work, this formal approach of forming a `committee' takes the fun away! It's about employ-ees coming together and deciding what they would like to do ­ from meditation groups (yes, meditation can be fun!), Zumba classes, to just gathering together for a meal.The post 2000 era may give an impression of machines replacing all human jobs, but it is undeni-able that good human resources management will be a necessity for the sustenance of companies for many years to come. Being a `Great place to work' starts with the intention to build a positive workplace environment that should carry on for many years to come. Krity Sharma
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