Question: How to Create a More Inspiring Work Environment

I'm looking for experts to weigh in on how companies can bring more joy and inspiration into their work environment - everything from investing in company culture to ensuring people have the best equipment to do their jobs. I'm particularly interested in forward-thinking approaches and new ideas that would be affordable for small businesses.

3 Expert Insights

Great topic and one I write and lecture on frequently. You are correct that employees are looking for inspiration.

1. Successful organizations that inspire create conditions for people to excel. They provide tools and resources as well as lots of support in the form of coaching and professional development.

2. Such inspiration comes from doing the work which must have three factors: difference, momentum and impact. People want to make a difference; they want to have their work gain traction; and they want to have an impact on others, especially customers.

3. Be involved in work lives of your people. Be seen. Be heard. Be available.

My philosophy for inspiring and engaging work environments can be summed up in the term "conscious organizational evolution", by which I mean a continuous, interactive cultural development process focused on creating a workplace where people love to come to work on Monday and are still energized at the end of the week.

Essential elements include:

1. Ongoing inquiry into what is working well and how you can build on the platform of your successes to reach new heights.

2. Constant opportunities for development and growth, including in areas that are clearly outside of job scope roles.

3. A positive communication culture that fosters mutual support, team cohesiveness, ability to constructively confront, and continuous affirmation of specific positive behaviors.
Highly flexible work hours negotiated within each team

4. Explicit, fun celebration of work progress, teamwork, and individual outstanding performance.

5. An overarching perspective that the work culture and employee experience is at least as important as the work product -- with the foundational belief that happily inspired employees produce the highest quality business results.

The two most powerful ways to create joy in a workplace are to create a culture that wins and connects people to a higher purpose.

Creating a winning or high performance culture is all about connecting the work that people to do business results.

Connecting people to a "higher purpose" is showing the connection that each and every employee has in gaining and/or retaining customers. When employees can see and understand the impact they have on customers, it enables them to really see the impact of their actions and decisions.

If a company or organization can do that, they will create a powerful, high impact culture without needed huge investments or complicated programs.