De 7 eigenschappen van de beste managers volgens Facebook

Artikel van Richard Feloni op Business Insider UK, januari 2016. Facebook onderzocht de eigenschappen van haar beste managers en vond er 7. Facebook’s VP of People Lori Goler aan het woord.

Facebook’s HR chief conducted a company-wide study to find its best managers — and 7 behaviors stood out

At Facebook, employees know that they don’t need to become managers in order to be successful.

“The most important thing is that we choose managers who want to be managers,” Lori Goler, Facebook’s VP of people, told Business Insider.

Facebook is a strength-based organization, she said, and that means that leadership finds what employees excel at and place them in those roles. In order to determine what makes a manager excel at Facebook, a few years ago Goler and her team conducted a company-wide analysis of its roughly 12,000 employees to find which teams reported the highest levels of satisfaction and engagement.

They then reached out to these teams and asked them what it was about their bosses that made their work experience so rewarding. Seven behaviors stood out.

1. They care about their team members.

The first point ties back to finding managers who actually want to be managers rather than those who feel like they need to be managers in order to progress in their careers.

“It sounds basic, but it’s harder than it sounds in an organization that’s scaling quickly” to find these people, Goler said. Those who have that passion for leading a team are able to make personal connections with their employees and actually want to see them succeed.

2. They provide opportunities for growth.

Facebook’s HR team found that its employees who reported the highest levels of satisfaction with their boss felt like they were given opportunities to constantly learn and develop their skills.

3. They set clear expectations and goals.

Employees have two formal performance reviews each year, and feedback, whether positive or negative, should never be a surprise. All employees need to constantly know what is expected of them, as both individuals and members of a team, or else their manager has failed.

facebook employeesFacebookFacebook employees work in the company’s Hyderabad, India offices.

4. They give frequent, actionable feedback.

Goler said that giving regular feedback is so fundamental to Facebook’s culture that it becomes second nature to the best managers.

“And it’s a two-way street,” she said. The best bosses inform their teams of the feedback they’ve been getting from individual members as well as their own superiors. They’re able to create an atmosphere where their employees aren’t afraid to speak up when they believe there’s a better way of doing things.

When a team achieves this level of trust and transparency, they can adapt quickly and become more productive and effective.

5. They provide helpful resources.

The best managers don’t micro-manage, but they’re aware of where each of their employees is at so that they can remove any roadblocks that may be hindering progress and provide the insight or assistance to get a project done.

6. They hold their team accountable for success.

In order for employees to feel motivated, they need to know that their boss will adjust their responsibilities accordingly depending on their performance.

7. They recognize outstanding work.

And finally, the most engaged employees reported that they work in an environment where impactful results are celebrated.

 

Bron: klik hier

Lees ook:

Sturen op empathie in je team: 6 tips van Google

Wat als iedereen bang is voor de baas?

14 simple expectations great employees have of their boss

Hier is de stagiair net zo belangrijk als de baas

 

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Molenwaard: ‘Onze wandelgangen liggen op straat’

Artikel van Sjoske Cornelissen op nieuworganiseren.nu, mei 2016. De gemeente Molenwaard werkt zonder gemeentehuis.

Molenwaard: ‘Onze wandelgangen liggen op straat’

Een gemeente is bureaucratisch en log, het gemeentehuis is groots en statig. Je verdwaalt gegarandeerd in een zoektocht naar de juiste afdeling en op een afgehandelde aanvraag moet je ellenlang wachten. Mijn vooroordelen over gemeenten zijn gebaseerd op geringe ervaring en worden dan ook compleet van tafel geveegd als ik de gemeente Molenwaard in Zuid-Holland bezoek. Deze gemeente heeft namelijk geen gemeentehuis en mijn interviewaanvraag wordt razendsnel opgepakt.

Terwijl ik in een achtpersoons buurtbus naar Bleskensgraaf wordt gereden, probeer ik me in te beelden hoe een gemeente in hemelsnaam te werk gaat zonder een gemeentehuis. Waar kom ik straks terecht? Wat tref ik aan?

In 2013 werden de gemeenten Graafstroom, Liesveld en Nieuw-Lekkerland samengevoegd tot één gemeente, dé perfecte aanleiding voor een reorganisatie van grootse omvang. “Het vormen van een nieuwe gemeente heeft ons heel erg geholpen om ook een nieuwe wijze van werken te introduceren”, vertelt burgemeester Dirk van den Borg.

“Bij elke nieuwe gemeente ontstaat ook de discussie over de plaats van het nieuwe gemeentehuis”, gaat hij verder. “Maar wij vonden het maatschappelijk onverantwoord om überhaupt te investeren in de bouw van een nieuw gemeentehuis tijdens de financiële crisis. Dat zou 16 tot 18 miljoen euro gaan kosten.”

Aan de keukentafel

Maar hoe ga je dat dan organiseren? Een fusie van drie gemeenten betekent ook een veel groter gebied. Tegelijkertijd wilde de nieuwe gemeente juist dichter bij haar inwoners komen te staan. “Het ontbreken van een gemeentehuis is een middel om ons op straat te krijgen”, vertelt Van den Borg. Zo vergadert het college van burgemeester en wethouders iedere dinsdagochtend bij een ondernemer op kantoor of bij een bewoner aan de keukentafel. “Zo bouw je nieuwe contacten op en weet je wat er op die locatie speelt. Onze wandelgangen liggen op straat.”

In plaats van een gemeentehuis kunnen de medewerkers gebruikmaken van een aantal flexwerkplekken verdeeld over de gemeente, maar dat is niet verplicht. En dat is maar goed ook, want bijna alles wordt bij de inwoners thuis geregeld. Paspoorten en rijbewijzen worden aan huis of op het werkadres bezorgd. Zelfs de aangifte van een geboorte vindt, indien mogelijk, plaats aan de keukentafel van de kersverse ouders. Voor ceremoniële gebeurtenissen huurt de gemeente een geschikte ruimte.

“Er zijn vele mooie gebouwen in onze gemeente, zoals in Nieuwpoort of in Kinderdijk. Minister Blok ontvingen we in het restaurant De Burgemeester in Bleskensgraaf. Ook het oude stadhuis(je) en Het Arsenaal in Nieuwpoort lenen zich goed voor gezelschappen. We huren gewoon ergens geschikte ruimte.

Voor de oudere bewoners van gemeente Molenwaard is het wel even wennen dat ze niet meer zomaar kunnen binnenlopen. “Het telefoonkanaal wordt meer gebruikt dan we verwacht hadden”, vertelt communicatiemedewerker Ingeborg Voogt. “Maar mensen kunnen service op maat krijgen als dat nodig is. Dan gaan we bij hen langs om te kijken welke ondersteuning we kunnen bieden.”

Werken met afhandelingstijd

Voor de rest gaat alles zoveel mogelijk digitaal en worden zaken snel afgehandeld. Die hoge werksnelheid zit in ‘de cultuur’ van gemeente Molenwaard. “Toen ik nog bij een andere gemeente werkte, wist ik ook wel dat wij er voor de inwoners zijn, maar de manier van werken bij Molenwaard maakt je veel bewuster”, vertelt Voogt. Van den Borg voegt daaraan toe: “Je bent geneigd om vlot te reageren. Soms mail ik iemand om tien uur ’s avonds nog terug. Daar verbazen mensen zich over. Tegelijkertijd verwen je ze daar ook mee, want ik reageer natuurlijk niet altijd direct.”

In het café, of toch liever het dorpshuis?

De medewerkers zijn tamelijk zelfstandig. “Je hoeft niet eerst naar een afdelingshoofd of teamleider voordat je aan de slag kan. Je bent zelf verantwoordelijk voor de wijze waarop je dingen afhandelt”, aldus de burgemeester. De grote mate van zelfstandigheid wordt gecompenseerd met de vrijheid die je ervoor terugkrijgt. Van den Borg: “Het maakt mij niet uit of je thuis, in het café of het dorpshuis zit, als het werk maar gedaan wordt.” Voogt: “Ik hoef niet te vragen of ik thuis mag blijven als de loodgieter die middag langskomt. Mijn collega’s zien mij vanzelf wel weer verschijnen, of niet.”

“Het maakt mij niet uit of je thuis, in het café of het dorpshuis zit, als het werk maar gedaan wordt.”

De gemeente is nooit af

Molenwaard organiseert regelmatig informatieochtenden voor andere gemeenten die belangstelling hebben. “Vorige week was een gemeente uit België op bezoek en hebben we ideeën uitgewisseld met de gemeente Amsterdam.” Er is dus veel belangstelling naar de werkwijze van gemeente Molenwaard, maar volgens Voogt is de gemeente nog lang niet af. “We moeten nog grote stappen maken op het gebied van zelfsturing. Alle medewerkers realiseren zich dat we als gemeente nooit klaar of af zijn, en dat is ook wel een geruststelling.”

Bron: klik hier

Interview Alexander Kjerulf: The Science of Happiness

Alexander is Chief Happiness Officer of Woohoo inc and one of the world’s leading experts on happiness at work. Alex is the author of 4 books including the international bestseller Happy Hour is 9 to 5. He is also a speaker presenting and conducting workshops on happiness at work at businesses and conferences in over 30 countries. His clients include companies like Hilton, Microsoft, LEGO, IKEA, Shell, HP and IBM. 

Let op! Alexander Kjerulf geeft een inspirerende en ‘high energy’ workshop Happiness@work op 29 september van 10.00 uur-16.30 in Den Haag. De kosten voor deze workshop bedragen euro 199 (ex btw), meld je nu online aan!

Alexander Kjerulf: The Science of Happiness

Everybody wants to be happy and that is why so many people work hard sacrificing today for happiness in the future. However, is this what we truly need to do to be happy? It is time to rethink about what is happiness. 

First of all, let us know more about you. What is the role of “Chief Happiness Officer” and what is “Woohoo inc.”?

I am the founder and CHO of Woohoo inc and we make people happy at work. We do workshops and keynotes for clients all over the world, to help them become happy workplaces.

What was the beginning of thinking of happiness? Did you have a specific moment that you started concerning about happiness in your life?
I’ve always felt that whatever work I do, I want it to be something I enjoy. I flatly refuse to do work that I hate.So when I left IT consulting in 2002 I decided to focus on happiness at work. Our company vision is to create a world where happiness at work is the rule and not the exception.
 What was your first step to sharing your ideas, working with corporations, educating people to be happier? And, what kind of results you had in the beginning?

My first step was to study the field and find a lot of relevant research. I also talked to a lot of people to collect practical experiences and attitudes.

I then designed my first happiness workshop and tested it on a group of volunteers, who seemed to really like it. And then it was time to start the company and begin selling this to clients.

I assume you sometimes had difficulties at the beginning that is the hardest part for those who start something new. How did you overcome it?

 The hardest part was obviously selling our services in the beginning. Many people and companies thought it was a strange idea, but slowly it started to gain acceptance and now we’re very well known in Denmark and around the world.

 Our main tool for overcoming this challenge was to be ourselves and to be bold. To do things our way, and not become too corporate or too traditional. It’s an easy trap to fall into, but I feel very proud that we stayed true to our initial vision.

 Arbejdsglæde”, happiness at work, is a unique word, which exists only in Scandinavian countries. What makes this word part of Scandinavian culture? Is it because of the education, nature, relationship with people?

 It’s probably because Scandinavian societies are very egalitarian and focused on a good quality of life. Success in Scandinavia is not necessarily about becoming a millionaire, but more about having a good quality of life.

 It seems that “work” is considered “exploitation” in the western cultures and “sacrifice” in the eastern cultures (totally opinion). Work does not make people make happy with these conceptions. How people can think to make their work happier and how they can behave differently to build an environment in which people can work and have happiness at the same time?

 It’s true that many people consider work punishment and expect work to be hard and unpleasant and that for many, work is something you do only because you have to.

But we’re trying to make people realise that it doesn’t have to be that way. Of course, we still need to work to make a living, but we can find work that we actually enjoy.

 You make a clear difference between “satisfaction” and “happiness”. What people should know about the difference between these 2 words?

 Satisfaction is what you think about your job. When you make a rational, logical evaluation of your work situation, are you satisfied overall? It’s an important concept, but it turns out that satisfaction doesn’t have much of an impact on us.

Happiness is what you feel about your job. When you are at work, do you experience mostly positive or negative emotions. And our emotions are so important because they have a huge effect on our health, our well-being and our job performance.

It is interesting that many people look for happiness externally such as materials, bonus, status, and hardly try to look into themselves. Perhaps it is because they have got educated to think in that way. How this kind of people can experience a paradigm shift in their way of thinking to be happier?

 Yes. All of the factors you mention still matter, because they can make us unhappy, if perceive them as unfair. For instance, if you feel you’re being underpaid, that can absolutely make you unhappy. But none of those things can make us happy at work.

 The salary makes it possible to go to work – it’s not what determines if we’re happy when we’re there.

What would be requirements for creating a world where the majority of people can feel “they are happy” ? 

 So if raises, bonuses, perks and promotions aren’t the key to a happy work life, then what is? This has been the subject of extensive research over the last few decades, and it seems it comes down to two things: Results and Relationships.

 Results are about making a difference at work, knowing that your job is important, getting appreciation and doing work that you can be proud of. Relationships are about liking the people you work with, having a good manager and feeling like you belong. In short, we are happy at work when we do great work together with great people. That’s is where you need to focus. Instead of choosing the job with the fanciest office or the loftiest title, you need to choose a job where you can have great results and relationships. That will ultimately lead to a much better work life and home life.

And please note that this does not mean choosing between happiness and career success. Research shows that people who like their jobs, do a much better job. They’re more productive, more creative, more motivated and more likely to reach their goals.

Bron: klik hier

Let op! Alexander Kjerulf geeft een inspirerende en ‘high energy’ workshop Happiness@work op 29 september van 10.00 uur-16.30 in Den Haag. De kosten voor deze workshop bedragen euro 199 (ex btw), meld je nu online aan!

15 Employee Engagement activities that you can start doing now

Artikel van Paula Clapon op http://www.gethppy.com, mei 2016

15 Employee Engagement activities that you can start doing now

Before you start spinning numbers and planning activities, you need to realize that employee engagement is a mindset. The only way that an engagement strategy will yield results is if you start with the “why” of the matter, with each activity and event you plan.

Start by looking at your team as real people, with ideas, aspirations, accomplishments and challenges, within the workplace and outside of it. These people are not a means to generating business results, they are a formidable resource that needs to be understood and nurtured in order to deliver on what’s expected of them as workers.

Why is employee engagement so important?

As a manager, keeping your employees engaged is perhaps the biggest challenge you face. It’s also a huge opportunity to gain long-term commitment and discretionary effort from your team. That effort will ultimately lead to higher sales and fewer mistakes.

There is more and more convincing evidence that improving employee engagement can significantly improve company performance across a number of key areas, such as; profitability, productivity, customer satisfaction, innovation, health and safety, sickness and absence, turnover and wellbeing.

But, in order to achieve that, your engagement efforts have to be aligned with your overall business strategy. Implementing unplanned ideas and activities that you think might help, without monitoring or measuring their impact, is a waste of time and resources.

Business commitment to employee engagement

You have to be clear about “what” you want to achieve in your company, before jumping to “how” you’re going to go about it. Your HR function is essential in defining and planning an employee engagement strategy that aligns with your organization’s goals.

Like we pointed out in a recent article, HR has a much more strategic function within a company and should be involved in the business planning process to ensure its profitability. Being inherently cross-functional, the HR function has a high degree of authority in terms of managing the employees who will ultimately execute that strategy.

Employee engagement is not an isolated HR process. In order for it to deliver the benefits we talked about earlier, it needs organizational commitment and involvement to implement efficient initiatives.

Now that we have that covered, whether you’re simply browsing for some ideas that might boost up morale or if you’re putting down the final details for your HR strategy, here are 15 activities ideas that you should try! If you’re short on time or if you prefer to have it all in a pdf, download the free eBook and go over it when you have more time to design and implement these employee engagement activities.

 15 Employee Engagement activities

 1. Involve employees in your business planning process

Every 6 months, or even quarterly, present the most important issues in your company and the actions made to address those issues. Involve your team in planning ahead, assessing opportunities and coming up with improvement ideas for your business strategy.

By promoting transparency and offering them a strategic insight into how the company is being managed, you’ll foster loyalty and you’ll also have a prepared leadership pipeline.

2. Create a knowledge sharing system

One of the biggest costs of a high employee turnover rate is the loss of essential information. A knowledge sharing system helps you avoid that cost, to some extent, and it’s also a great engagement driver for newcomers.

You can have a mentorship program, pairing experienced employees with newly hired ones. Create a learning program template that they should follow, giving them enough space to test their own learning methods. Give them a timeframe, a set of objectives and let the relationship unfold on its own.

3. Encourage knowledge sharing in a creative way

Teams are oftentimes isolated within their own project and their own workspace, that they have no idea what the rest of the company is doing.

Create an open sharing space, once every 2 months or so, where every team can present updates on their project and key learning points. Teams will evolve much more rapidly, using the knowledge shared and the different experiences on every project.

To minimize the risk of this turning into a boring, mandatory 2h meeting, make it fun and creative. You can have a theme per each sharing session. For example, this month’s theme is “Mafia movies” and the Sales team decides to present its updates in a Godfather-like manner. Remember, creativity is a key happiness driver.

4. Show them the money

Nothing builds trust like showing someone your financial statement. And that’s exactly what you should do in your company.

Give your team a quick presentation of the financial state of your company, every quarter or at the end of the year. Show them how everyone’s efforts are linked together, set bold objectives for the next months and get everyone involved in meeting those objectives. You’ll notice that this activity links back to the 1st one.

Encourage employees to take responsibility for the success of the company if you want them to put in their discretionary effort.

5.   Encourage and provide learning opportunities

Create your own Academy, where employees can access the knowledge and development opportunities that they need. This is one of the top 3 reasons why employees quit companies: lack of learning prospects.

Assess their needs and their preferences, create a curriculum and set-up 1-2 classes per week. Get them involved in deciding how you should schedule these learning initiatives (during or after working hours).

Make it engaging and rewarding with a Graduation ceremony, caps and flowers and even a fun night out.

6.  Mens sana in corpore sano

Have your own Office Olympics where everyone can get involved and have fun. Promote wellbeing and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle in a fun, competitive way.

Get to know each other in a different environment and connect people with the same interests. It’s a great chance to get some of those chair-numbed-muscles going and bond in a friendly competition. Prizes and embarrassing photos are a must.

7. Have a hack night

Break monotony with an ambitious working night. Set a clear objective, create your own set of rules (breaks, music, snacks, etc.) and try to be as productive as possible in just one night.

Get everyone together and test your creative and operational limits. I promise it’s going to be really fun! Here’s how the team at HubSpot got together to create 200 hours’ worth of marketing content in one hack night.

8. Create excitement about upcoming opportunities

Make sure you communicate upcoming opportunities on a regular basis. Get employees excited and striving for what’s next. Do it in your internal newsletter, face-to-face or during a general update meeting.

If they’re excited about what’s next, they’ll do their best and reply with a “No, thank you” to those irritating poaching emails from your competition.

Keep in mind that a career processes should be driven by individual potential as well as current opportunities.

9. Let them create their own onboarding experience

Create a self-guided onboarding experience. People are much more like

ly to remember and assimilate information that they get on their own. Set the ground rules, give them basic instructions, a list of objectives and a timeframe. For example a 60 days plan, with some basic milestones.

Let them swim on their own. Oftentimes, onboarding processes fail to provide actual value and initiate a dialogue. Let new employees create their own onboarding experience and figure out their work preferences.

10. Make onboarding fun

Have a scavenger hunt onboarding. Turn information that is usually considered boring or useless into company trivia and learning how to use tools and systems, such as the internal communication system.

Include other people in the game. For example, have some of the older employees provide answers and get to know the new hires.

11. Create your own internal magazine

Create your internal employee-focused magazine with fun columns, news, featured stories and opportunities. Who wouldn’t like to be featured on the cover as Employee of the Month?

It can be an online magazine or a printed one. Or, it can be both, a monthly online issue and a quarterly printed one.

12. TEDx [InsertCompanyNameHere]. Sounds good right?

Have your own company TEDx-like Talks where you get to share ideas, boost creativity and encourage innovation.

Make your workplace less about work and more about the people there. Their ideas, experiences and aspirations. Give them a chance to be the source of their own inspiration, boosting morale and creativity for everyone in the company.

You can make it an event of its own or include it in another event that you’re already planning.

13. The League of Extraordinary Managers

Managers are a key business component and an equally important engagement driver.

Create a coaching program for managers and teach them to really care. Coach them towards maximum contribution and satisfaction, align them with the organization’s strategy, mission and values and show them how to recognize attitude, effort and results.

14. “I am my own hero”

Encourage individuals to design and own their career paths, instead of relying on the company or on their manager. Employees need to take initiative and set a career goal for themselves.

Have people write their goal on a piece of paper. Put it in an envelope and close it. Then, after 6 months or a year, give them the sealed envelopes back to see if they’ve realized that goal.

For this activity, managers have a guiding role. They can understand and help align employees’ aspirations with the organization’s career development point of view.

15. Give back

Get involved in social and charity initiatives. Giving back creates a positive mentality. It also fosters pride and loyalty.

Get the team together, have everyone pitch a cause and pick the one you want to support. It’s important that you make it personal, that you make it count. You can donate either time and involvement, or money, or both.

Usually, giving time is more rewarding than giving money, especially for gen Y employees, who are highly oriented towards social involvement.

Commit to taking action, don’t wait for engagement to happen

Moving from theory to practice is a big challenge. Most companies that measure employee engagement do little beyond that measurement.

In order to obtain all of the benefits of employee engagement, you have to commit to taking action:

“An emerging view is that engagement needs to be characterized as transformational. Organizations dedicate 90 percent of their engagement effort on ‘post survey’ activity to inspire people to do great work and match their efforts with business needs.

The other 10 percent is attributed to ‘transactional’ engagement – the often sterile process of capturing survey-based evidence to support the transformational programme of engagement activities.”

Dr Martin Reddington DBA, Academic Fellow CIPD (Source)

Taking action means ensuring that all employees understand the company vision and its strategic direction, as well as what their individual role is in achieving it.

It also means engaging managers by developing their leadership skills, living the company values on a day-to-day basis and allowing open, two-way communication with employees.

Bottom line

Employee engagement is an organizational effort that requires a long-term vision in a business strategy context, if it is to improve productivity and retention rates.

You have to identify what your company needs and develop the right strategy. Only then should you focus on how to measure employee engagement and what activities to implement.

Bron: klik hier

5 Science-Backed Ways to Be Happier at Work

Artikel op Entrepeneur van Kim Lachance Sandrow, mei 2016. Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas, neuroscientist en science director van het UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center, geeft 5 manieren om gelukkig te zijn op het werk.

5 Science-Backed Ways to Be Happier at Work

Google “How to be happier” and, before you’re even finished typing, “How to be happier at work” is the first suggestion to pop up. Happiness at work is evidently on a lot of people’s minds, considering that search term’s popularity on Google, a company that just so happens to employ a chief happiness officer. (Check out his business card. He’s literally a “Jolly Good Fellow.”)

Why wouldn’t feeling happier at work be at the top of our collective consciousness? After all, most of us spend a third of our days working. Our time on the clock might as well be pleasant and fulfilling.

If it’s not, if you’re a sad, sullen downer of a worker — and your boss could very well be onto this — studies suggest that you’re significantly more likely to slack off and be less productive. On top of the emotional toll on your own well-being, your blues could also be a costly drain on your company’s bottom line and seriously bum-out those who work around you.

On the upside, a growing body of data-based evidence suggests that being happier at work can make you more engaged, less likely to quit and better at collaborating, among many other benefits. Generally speaking, the happier you are, the better your brain works and the better you feel and perform at work, says Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas, a veteran neuroscientist and the science director of the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center.

dr-emiliana-simon-thomas

“When workers are happier, they’re healthier and accomplish more,” she says. “They tend to enjoy their relationships at work and elsewhere. They work better on teams. They’re more well-liked by their co-workers and they’re more immune to burnout. So, if I’m an employer, helping them feel happier on my watch isn’t even a hard sell. Putting happiness where the vision and mission are, it’s a given.”

While earning her doctorate in brain cognition and behavior at the university, she focused on how negative states such as fear and aversion influence thinking and decision-making. Now, she mainly studies happiness and the behaviors that bring the feel-good emotion about.

Simon-Thomas is also the co-creator and co-teacher of an eight-week EdX online course titled “The Science of Happiness.” I should mention, in the interest of full disclosure, that I’m currently enrolled in the free class.

I spoke with her recently about her top five tips for being happier at work, for both employers and employees. Here they are:

1. Bring your personal baggage to work.

“The professional culture norm has long been to leave your personal baggage at home. You come in. You do work. We don’t always know if our co-workers are parents. We don’t know if they are caring for others who demand a lot of their time and energy outside of work. We often don’t know much about our co-workers and what they’re personally going through.

“What researchers are realizing is that the separation of professional and personal is a poor model. It minimizes workers in a way that makes it more difficult for them to be happy, to feel valuable, connected, trusted and cared-for at work. It’s time to promote empathy in the workplace, to ask questions and feature opportunities for employees to share their real-life moments. A good starting place is to have off-site play days for your staff, when they can talk about who they really are, what they’re really about and where they really come from. Knowing that information about your co-workers, like if they’re in the midst of a challenging personal situation, which we all go through, can be helpful to understanding where the person is coming from. It promotes compassion and happiness, and it puts money in your company’s bank in terms of trust and social connections.”

Bottom line: Getting personal at the office increases co-worker trust and compassion.

2. Stop competing with co-workers. Work is a team sport.

“Work is often framed as being something you earn. Maybe others think you were the lucky one who got a new position, or a raise, or maybe you’re the most qualified one. It’s very competitive and people get jealous and harbor resentment. Workplace competition is counter to cooperation, as it creates a sense of holding on to what’s yours and making sure nobody else intrudes upon your territory.

“In actuality, and empirically-speaking, that mentality is not as productive. It doesn’t lend itself to happiness, nor to the type of achievement that stems from the cooperation of your teammates.

Instead, break down departmental silos. Don’t act like rivals. Help each other. Create a culture of happiness, cooperation and an open idea- and resource-sharing environment. Make it the norm. People naturally work together much better when they’re not pitted against each other.”

Bottom line: Teamwork makes the dream work.

3. Take a breather and pause when things get hot.

“Taking a deep breath as often as you can at work, or having some kind of extra awareness of what’s going on in your own psychological milieu, is so important. Engaging in mindful habits, like breathing deeply before meetings or on break or whenever you can fit it in, can reduce the toxic rumination and racing thoughts that often lead to stress and anxiety — the things that ultimately take our minds off of work and render us less productive.

“Focus on your breath when you’re in a moment of reactivity, when you’re tempted to perhaps yell at someone about something they did that irritates you. Notice the urge, get curious about it, feel the joy of letting go and repeat.

“Instead of being like, ‘Oh, no, I’m not going to scream at that person!’ and then avoiding that feeling and replacing it with something else, perhaps panic, work on your awareness and breathe through it. You don’t have to in a way that is so heavy-handed that you meditate right then and there. Just take that inhale and breathe it out slowly and notice where your urges are. If you have the urge to lash out, consider the possibilities. You probably won’t feel better after and lashing out won’t work at work. Breathing will.”

Bottom line: Stop, think and breathe in the heat of the moment.

4. Express gratitude for the people you work with.

“Gratitude has been proven to present a huge opportunity for increasing happiness. There are lots of opportunities at work to be grateful for the people you work with. It’s up to you to show it, to vocally, explicitly express gratitude to the co-workers and teammates that make your livelihood, progress and daily efforts possible.

“Expressing thanks and showing you’re grateful for them brings about a deep, mutual sense of belonging and cohesion. It also creates empathy and trust in the workplace, which is essential to accomplishing collective work goals together. The giver and the receiver will feel a sense of purpose, a sense of camaraderie and like they matter in the bigger scheme of the enterprise.

“This one especially applies to bosses, who often feel, ‘I don’t have to thank my employees because I’m paying them.’ Thank each other, no matter where you are on the organizational chart. It goes a long way, starting at the top, where leaders can model gratitude, and not with employee-of-the-month programs that can cause animosity. It could be as simple as taking a few seconds to pop your head into someone’s office and saying thank you to them for expending their life-energy to make your business successful.”

5. Play nice with your co-workers and show mutual respect.

“Just be nice, as simple it sounds. It’s one of the most measurably effective things you can do to easily and immediately increase happiness at work. Researchers saw this in a recent nursing industry organizational trust study and intervention. The nurses who took part were burning out and unhappy.

“To the surprise of the researchers, the nurses weren’t burning out because of the long hours and pay and compensation issues. What was really heard loud and clear: There was a culture of incivility that everyone was grappling with — a habit and culture of being unkind, competitive, snarky and hostile to each other. In working through those systemic causes of unhappiness, and learning to be simply nice to each other, the nurses were eventually able to come to a place of well-being.”

Bottom line: Be kind, don’t be cutthroat and lay off the snark.

Bron:klik hier

Do you know your customers better than your staff?

Atikel van Adam Hale op Personneltoday.com, mei 2016. Adam Hale is CEO van Fairsail, een snel groeiend  global HR software company.

Do you know your customers better than your staff?

Organisations invest millions in building their customer engagement strategies, but rarely know much about their employees. Yet putting staff at the centre of the business is key to sustained competitive advantage, argues Fairsail CEO Adam Hale.

I speak to business leaders of mid-size multinational organisations every week and there is no denying that the vast majority know far more about their customers than they do their own workforce. But why?

Employee engagement resources

The customer’s impact on growth has always been central to business strategy, while the bottom-line impact of people is usually considered as a cost and hence impacts margin.

With the ongoing war for talent and the need to retain employees, knowing your people as well as – if not better than – your customers is essential for success and ongoing competitive advantage.

For the past 15 years, there has been an increased focus on optimising the customer journey and the associated customer experience – a trend that has been accelerated by the move to digital business.

Given that 70% to 90% of the buying process now takes place online, it is no surprise that customer relationship management and predictive customer analytics tools have become commonplace in the marketing, sales and services functions.

Companies have realised that they need to think about the buyer’s journey in its entirety in order to deliver a better brand experience to customers and beat their competitors.

What is fascinating to me is that we have seen nothing like the same level of attention as to the employment journey and the associated employee or workforce experience.

Putting employees first

By understanding how employees think and feel about their day-to-day working experiences, they are better placed to understand behaviours and workforce engagement.

An unhappy and disengaged workforce will almost certainly have a negative impact on the customer experience, so why is it that some business leaders still expect their customers to receive an optimum brand experience, while their workforce is demotivated and productivity is low?

The employee experience must be prioritised first and foremost. People analytics is key to this, and is the best way for HR leaders to gauge an accurate and real-time view of how satisfied, trusting, loyal and committed their employees are.

This is what really matters; if employees feel undervalued, there is little hope of them being fully engaged.

Facilitating the right employee experience is therefore the only route to optimising employee engagement, and while I see positive signs that more and more businesses are beginning to live by this mantra, there are still too many that fail to realise its critical importance.

With a modern HR system and supporting analytics, it is now possible to get information on demand that executives can use to make better data-driven decisions. In my experience, company leaders who are introduced to people analytics for the first time are, more often than not, incredulous that their business is not already benefiting from its potential.

The best part? Analytics can be used to help improve the employee experience, the customer experience, and the bottom line. It is a winning approach all round.

Top-level buy-in

Perhaps more problematic, though, is why it has taken so long for company leaders to realise that business success starts with the employee, and not the customer.

My conclusion? The HR function as a whole is often under-represented at the executive management level and so the issue has been overlooked for far too long at the top table.

I am of the belief that every management team should have a dedicated people representative, whether that be a chief human resources officer or, even better, a chief employee engagement officer.

The latter should be using design, marketing, and communications to create great employee experiences that align with company values and brand.

Encouragingly, leading brands are realising the need to design and deliver great employee experiences in order to ensure great customer experiences.

I see this transformation in my role as CEO of a cloud HR company every day, and it is great to see businesses implementing people strategies that place the employee at the centre of their business – exactly where they should be.

Bron: klik hier

Future fit beoordelen

Blog op nieuworganiseren.nu, mei 2016. Ewout Langenbarg werkt als adviseur bij Alares.

Future fit beoordelen

Ewout Langenbarg vraagt zich af waarom er in een tijd waarin zoveel oude organisatieconventies overboord worden gegooid, het beoordelingsgesprek toch zo vaak vanuit de managementspositie wordt gevoerd en zo weinig is gericht op ontwikkelen en leren. 

We leven in een tijd waarin sociale innovatie omarmd is. Een tijd waarin we het zelforganiserend vermogen van professionals en teams meer en meer stimuleren. En een tijd waarin het lerend vermogen van organisaties steeds belangrijker wordt. We leven in een tijd waarin we de traditionele organisatieprincipes meer dan ooit loslaten. Tegelijk merk ik dat organisaties de essentiële randvoorwaarden om zelforganisatie mogelijk te maken in veel gevallen niet invullen.

Ontwikkelen en leren

Eén van die randvoorwaarden betreft het ontwikkel- en leervermogen van zelforganiserende teams en de professionals die daarbinnen werkzaam zijn. Vanuit mijn optiek één van de meest cruciale succesfactoren voor zelforganiserende of zelfsturende teams.

Want stel je voor dat je met jouw directe collega’s daadwerkelijk in gesprek bent over jouw eigen ontwikkeling en over jouw bijdrage aan het team, dat jouw functioneren wordt beoordeeld door de mensen waarmee je het meest samenwerkt en die jou het beste kennen, dat dit gesprek wordt gevoerd op basis van een 360° feedback van jouw directe collega’s, klanten, opdrachtgevers en samenwerkingspartners. En dat de beoordeling plaatsvindt op punten die jullie samen vooraf afspraken. Stel je dat eens voor. Dat is toch de basis voor zelforganisatie? Met elkaar de verantwoordelijkheid nemen voor het leren en ontwikkelen van het team. En toch zie ik in de praktijk maar weinig organisaties die op deze manier het beoordelings- of functioneringsgesprek durven, kunnen of willen vormgeven.

Energie, tijd en stress

Over de huidige manier van beoordelingsgesprekken is veel geschreven. Ze kosten energie, veel tijd, veroorzaken meer dan eens stress. Belangrijker: ze zijn niet altijd in staat om medewerkers te motiveren. Een belangrijke reden hiervoor is dat de professional het gesprek voert met iemand met wie hij niet, of amper, samenwerkt. Het blijft hierdoor te vaak bij plat beoordelen vanuit een managementpositie, gericht op productiecijfers, omzet, aantal cliënten, zichtbaarheid en andere KPI’s. En dit kan echt veel beter.

In mijn ogen is het belangrijk om gesprekken over leren en ontwikkelen te voeren met diegene die weten wat jij echt voor werkt doet. Hoe goed je bent. Wat voor werk je allemaal naast je functieprofiel doet. Hoe jij je team op sleeptouw neemt en hoe jij je collega’s inspireert. We vinden deze punten in horizontaal georganiseerde omgevingen steeds belangrijker, bij autonome professionals in een zelforganiserend of zelfsturend team. Laten we deze dan ook op waarde schatten! Dat motiveert.

Van plat beoordelen naar plat beoordelen

Dus een voorstel: laten we het echt anders doen. Niet meer zenuwachtig zijn voor het gesprek, maar werken aan je ontwikkeling. In mijn organisatie zijn we gestopt met de ouderwetse manier van beoordelen en waarderen. We voeren een gesprek in het team over functioneren, talenten, toegevoegde waarde op verschillende vlakken en ontwikkelpunten. We gebruiken input uit 360° feedback die we voor elkaar invullen gekoppeld aan input van onze samenwerkingspartners en opdrachtgevers. Zo ligt de focus op het leren en organiseren van meerwaarde. De meerwaarde van iedereen in het team en voor de hele organisatie. Ik denk dat dit nodig is om als organisatie toekomstbestendig en daadwerkelijk future fit te zijn.

Bij ons werkt het. De beoordeling voelt eerlijker en de waardering oprechter. En als er kritiek of feedback is, dan is deze gegrond en met voorbeelden onderbouwd door de mensen met wie je dag in dag uit samenwerkt. Directe collega’s hebben het beste zicht op gewenste ontwikkelpunten. Dat gesprek is lastig en moet scherp gevoerd worden. Maar alleen zo kun je als team echt bezig zijn met ontwikkelen. Het vraagt ook wat van de competenties van de teamleden om op deze manier met ontwikkelen bezig te zijn, evenals van de cultuur van de organisatie. Maar bij horizontaal organiseren hoort ook een manier van horizontaal, plat, beoordelen. Daar ben ik van overtuigd.

Successful self-management? Forget the rules and welcome failure!

Blog van Corporate Rebels over zelfsturing bij Hollands Kroon. In gesprek met Anja van der Horst, mei 2016.

Successful self-management? Forget the rules and welcome failure!

Recently, we wrote about the amazing story of Frank van Massenhove and how he transformed the Belgian Federal Office of Social Affairs. We were surprised by the modern organization that was set up, especially because of the preconceptions we had regarding governmental organizations. Apparently, there is a good Dutch example as well: municipality Hollands Kroon. We went to visit them in Anna Paulowna, a city in the northern part of Holland. We met with Bucket List hero Anja van der Horst, driving force behind the new-style municipality and Director of Operations.

The young history of Hollands Kroon

‘Hollands Kroon’ is a municipality that was created in 2012 as a merger of 4 smaller municipalities. The municipality consists of 50.000 inhabitants and 360 civil servants. The newly born municipality used this fresh start to organize their organisation in such a way that it was best able to fulfill its purpose: allowing their inhabitants to be more entrepreneurial and self-reliant. Anja explained to us the story of how they envisioned their organization to be. And how the transformation process has been so far. Explore the 4 things that stood out the most in our conversation.

 

1. Top down rather than bottom up

The leadership of Hollands Kroon consists of three directors, of which Anja is one. All directors are convinced that a new type of leadership is needed for them to be able to create an organization that fits the 21st century. They want their inhabitants to be entrepreneurial. In order to do that the civil servants shouldn’t be asking permission for everything they do or want to do. There’s only one way to do this according to the leadership: the introduction of self-management. They design an organization consisting of two layers: one layer of leadership and one layer of about 40 self-managing teams (circa 9 employees each).

 

Different approaches

In all organizations we’ve been, the leaders (as can be expected) are the ones taking the first steps in the transformation process towards liberation. However, we witnessed two different paths towards this liberation process.

Top down

For some leaders self-management is a predetermined goal at the start of their leadership. They themselves are convinced about the advantages of this model and often implement it top down into the organization. The story about Hollands Kroon is a clear example, but we have seen it in other organizations as well (i.e. the story of Frank van Massenhove and Sjoerd van der Velden).

Bottom up

For other leaders self-management derives from the result of listening to the specific needs of the employees. The implementation of self-management can than be regarded as the result of a bottom up feedback process. This is contrary to the story about Hollands Kroon but we have witnessed this in other organizations (i.e. the story of Carin Wormsbecher and Kees Pater).

 

2. Result-based evaluation as a crucial step

In most organizations people work from 9 to 5. During the 8 hours they are in the office they are expected to do as much work as possible. Normally we are partly evaluated on the amount of time we spend in the office. Anja has let go of this partial time-based evaluation. Instead Hollands Kroon focuses solely on evaluations based on the achieved results and the produced output. The civil servants of Hollands Kroon set their own goals based on the overall targets of the municipality and will be evaluated based on their results and output.

We’ve seen the same at the Belgian Federal Office of Social Affairs; workers were not evaluated on time at all. The head of the department even admitted (proudly) that the average weekly hours made by each civil servant lies around 30-35 hours. He told us that he doesn’t care when, how or where people work, as long as they reach the goals that have been set.

 

3. Get rid of rules and welcome failure

Anja advocates that the easiest thing about the implementation of self-management is getting rid of the rules. She underlines her statement with a remarkable quote: “Organizing is quite simple. Just get rid of the rules“. The hardest part according Anja: welcoming failure. Anja: “Once you get rid of the rules and once you let employees decide how to work, mistakes will be made. The hardest part of self-management is not interfering when something goes wrong. If you interfere, it will never work“. She admits this is very hard for herself as well. She is constantly aware that she shouldn’t fall into the trap of telling people what to do when things go wrong. “If you don’t take distance, people will never take responsibility and self-management will surely fail.

At Hollands Kroon the employees learned the basics of self-management in a 2-day training. After the training all employees were very enthusiastic about starting with the new ways of working. Their next assignment: write a plan with clear goals and results for your team. Anja starts laughing: “When the discussions and arguments start, the teams immediately get back to reality. They notice it’s not so easy to be a self-managing team. However, as long as you don’t interfere, the teams will surely figure it out themselves. These are valuable lessons in learning self-management.

 

4. Department managers are unwilling to change

Most of the employees are enthusiastic about the self-management structure. However, some are less enthusiastic. Especially the managers are reluctant and would rather keep on working the way they’re used to. This seems understandable as their comfortable position is at risk. Once self-management is fully implemented, their job will probably disappear as their responsibilities will be distributed within the teams. All managers were offered new roles within the team. 7 out of 9 managers took the offer, 2 quit as they were unsatisfied with the redistribution of roles.

Just like at Hollands Kroon, we’ve seen in other transforming organizations that there are always some employees that do not want to be part of the new workplace. They quit their jobs to find places that better match their expectations of work. Some prefer working for a boss, some cannot handle the freedom and responsibility, or some, as with Hollands Kroon, want to keep their managerial positions.

The fact that some people leave these transforming organizations is an important aspect. It shows that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for creating happy companies. Not all people are the same, and therefore not all organizations should be the same.

 

A governmental rebel

After our talk with Anja we got back in the car and evaluated the conversation. We loved Anja’s no-nonsense approach towards self-management. Her take-it-or-leave-it mentality seems to have been a powerful tool in breaking through old habits and transforming into a modern and future proof municipality.

Anja is a governmental rebel. Her rebelliousness showed in her approach, her eyes, her talk, and definitely in her results. The most impressive result is the fact that the transformation program is well ahead of schedule. Instead of completing the organizational transformation by 2018, the completion will be done by the end of this year. Definitely not something that holds for most organizational change programs.

Bron: klik hier

Transitie naar gelukkig werken: In gesprek met Onno Hamburger

Artikel van Hilde Spille op VVAO.nl, vereniging van vrouwen met een hogere opleiding, april 2016.

Transitie naar gelukkig werken: In gesprek met Onno Hamburger

Onno Hamburger is coach voor gelukkig werken. Het gaat hem om de combinatie van geluk en werk. Hij geeft workshops, coaching en training over gelukkig(er) werken en bevlogenheid. In 2011 verscheen zijn boek “Gelukkig Werken. Versterk je persoonlijk leiderschap”. Veel psychologische tests en oefeningen vullen het boek, allemaal hulpstukken om jezelf beter te leren kennen. Door de beschrijving van eigen ervaringen van Hamburger en zijn persoonlijke voorbeelden is het een heel praktisch boek. Na het lezen en doorwerken van het boek zag ik er dan ook naar uit om hem te mogen interviewen.

Midden september sprak ik Hamburger in een café vlak bij het centraal station in Leiden. Het staat me nog goed bij, de vrolijk gekleurde tegels in het café en zijn open en vriendelijke houding. Zo gauw we begonnen te praten, waren we de regen buiten helemaal vergeten. We hebben het gehad over het verband tussen maatschappelijke en persoonlijke transities.

Beleving van werk verandert
Een van de belangrijkste maatschappelijke transities op het moment is de transitie van de houding ten opzichte van werk en bedrijf. In het verleden zag je hiërarchische verhoudingen op het werk. Werk was iets dat je doet en waar je liefst niet te veel over na wilde denken. Het was een vrij passieve beleving van werk. Angst en repressie kenmerkten de houding ten opzichte van het werk.

Deze opvatting is steeds meer aan het verdwijnen. Mensen gaan actiever om met hun werk, ze willen meer autonoom zijn. 13 – 15 % van de beroepsbevolking is geëngageerd en voelt zich betrokken bij het werk. Vooral in de zorgsector zie je steeds meer zelfsturende teams. De houding van angst en repressie wordt vervangen door een houding van kracht en kwaliteiten.

Mensen floreren graag, ze willen opbloeien. Ook voor organisaties is dit wenselijk. Je hebt minder verzuim, mensen zijn creatiever, innovatiever, werken beter samen, zijn effectiever en productiever.

Deze transitie op het werk loopt niet zonder strubbelingen. Niemand weet hoe de transitie werkt, mensen weten geen andere manier dan de hiërarchische manier van orders geven en orders opvolgen. Steeds meer organisaties moeten reorganiseren, er wordt steeds meer werk gedaan met steeds minder mensen. Aan de top betekent dit, dat er minder leidinggevenden zijn en voor de medewerkers betekent dit dat ze zelf creatiever moeten zijn.

Creatieve medewerkers en verkrampende leidinggevenden
Het vooruitzicht van creatievere werknemers doet veel leidinggevenden nog in een angststuip en in een verkramping schieten. Ze zijn gewend om orders uit te delen, gewend aan personeel dat de orders opvolgt in plaats van zelf nadenkt over het werk. Om controle te houden verzinnen leidinggevenden vaak nieuwe regels. Dat werkt bijna altijd averechts: meer regels zorgen voor meer verkramping.

Een goed voorbeeld is de zorg. Organisaties in de zorg houden vaak nog verkrampt vast aan regels, bijvoorbeeld dat iedere patiënt elke dag gewassen moet worden. Veel patiënten echter geven er de voorkeur aan om regelmatig een gesprek te hebben, soms is die behoefte nog groter dan de behoefte om elke dag gewassen te worden. Als de zorgorganisatie de regels wat kan loslaten en meer bevoegdheden geeft aan de verpleegkundige, dan ontstaat ineens ruimte voor de wensen van de patiënt.

Deze vrijheid is zowel voor leidinggevenden als voor werknemers in de zorg vaak moeilijk. Het is belangrijk om verpleegkundigen hun eigen proces van verandering vorm te laten geven. Dan kan de verpleegkundige met de patiënt zelf uitzoeken wat de echte behoeftes zijn, individueel. Bij zelfsturende buurtzorgteams zonder leidinggevenden zijn zowel de medewerkers als de patiënten blijer.

Bezuiniging door zelfsturing
Veel organisaties maken de transitie naar zelfsturende teams als er bezuinigd moet worden. Ze veronderstellen dat het vanzelf gaat, en zijn dan verbaasd dat zelfsturing niet meteen werkt.

Om goede resultaten te krijgen is het is van belang om teams op de juiste manier te begeleiden. Leidinggevenden sturen dan meer aan op eigen verantwoordelijkheid en op kwaliteiten van de ondergeschikten. Als de kwaliteiten van alle medewerkers in beeld zijn, ontstaat er ook ruimte om te kijken wie wat doet. De taak van de leidinggevende wordt dan het coachen en het met elkaar in gesprek gaan over de kwaliteiten.

De transitie van organisaties sluit aan bij de toenemende behoefte naar meer autonomie en betrokkenheid van werknemers. Maar niet bij iedereen voltrekt deze transitie zich op hetzelfde moment of in hetzelfde tempo. Ook bij ondergeschikten zie je een hulpeloosheid als ze plotseling in een zelfsturend team zitten. Er wordt betrokkenheid verwacht, ze worden geacht hun eigen kwaliteiten te kennen. Als je jezelf kent, kun je bewust situaties opzoeken die bij je passen.

Relatie geluk en werk
Gelukkig werken is voor iedereen anders, het hangt af van je persoonlijkheid. Daarom is het van belang dat je je eigen normen en waarden kent. Ze sluiten vaak aan bij je ervaring of je omgeving. Bijvoorbeeld: voor mensen die in hun jeugd vaak gepest zijn, wordt vertrouwen een belangrijke waarde. Het kijken naar je waarden is een manier om naar jezelf te kijken, het gaat een laag dieper dan als je naar je gedrag of overtuigingen kijkt, het wordt door je persoonlijkheid en je ervaringen bepaald.

Veel mensen hebben iets te brengen op het gebied waar ze vroeger tekort zijn gekomen
Tijdens het gesprek vroeg Onno Hamburger aan me om een cijfer te geven aan hoe gelukkig ik ben. Een 1 staat voor diep ongelukkig, een 10 voor helemaal gelukkig. Ik gaf mijn leven een 7,5 en mijn werk een 7. Het werk scoort vaak lager in geluk dan het leven. Nederlanders geven het geluk in hun leven gemiddeld een 7,6 en het geluk in hun werk een 7,1.

Werk maakt een heel belangrijk gedeelte uit van ons leven. Het grote verschil tussen hoe gelukkig we ons voelen, en hoe gelukkig we zijn in ons werk is heel opmerkelijk. De missie van Hamburger is om deze ruimte kleiner te maken, zodat mensen meer evenwicht ervaren in geluk privé en geluk op het werk.

Gelukkig willen werken betekent, dat we in beweging moeten komen. Hamburger wil graag mensen in beweging brengen. Zijn missie is een transitie naar gelukkig werk, zodat we ons uiteindelijk op het werk nog gelukkiger voelen dan we ons verder al voelen.

 

Bron: klik hier

Tips van Cyberclick: the happiest company of the world

Blog van Corporate Rebels over hun bezoek aan David Tomás van Cyberclick, entrepeneur en auteur van het boek “The happiest company of the world”, april 2016.

Practical happiness tips from our Bucket List visit to Spain

It’s one of those days that begins perfectly. You wake up, take a look out of the window and your senses are cheerfully greeted with a beautiful blue sky. You feel the comforting Mediterranean breeze touch your skin and witness the rising sun beaming down on the glistening rooftops. You open the windows and hear the locals set up shop in the street below. We enjoy this awakening and decide to put on some upbeat music while we get ready for the day ahead of us. By the time we leave the apartment, we are in the perfect state of mind, ready to take on Barcelona’s bustling streets.

As the rest of the city wakes up, we wander in search of a bocadillo de jamon and a freshly brewed double espresso. As we’re in Spain, we’re in search of the most basic looking bar as they are usually the ones that serve the best local food. The weather is too beautiful to stay inside, so we take our sandwich and coffee to go while we discuss the day ahead of us.

Meeting David Tomás

Once again, there’s a list of inspiring people we’re about to meet on this beautiful day. One of them is our Bucket List hero David Tomás. David is a Spanish serial entrepreneur and start-up mentor. He is also the author of the book ‘The happiest company in the world’; written like a novel, but with practical tips for creating happy companies. We’re meeting David at Cyberclick; his online advertising and direct marketing company. The company is located in the WTC right in the middle of the port in Barcelona. The office has a 180 degree panoramic view on the port where yachts and seagulls pass by regularly.

After we introduce ourselves, David tells us he recognizes his own story in ours. Just like us, he started working as an engineer after obtaining his engineering degree. After 2.5 years, he was fed up with the way things were organized and decided to quit his job. He then started his company Cyberclick and focused on working in a radically different way; a happier way. Along the way their mission statement has been crafted and now reads: “creating the happiest company in the world”. To ensure it’s not just a fuzzy, cool sounding phrase, they have implemented some practical techniques. Here’s a few of them.

An extraordinary recruitment process

To ensure that all employees are a perfect fit for the organization, Cyberclick has a radically different recruitment process. Just like all companies in Barcelona, Cyberclick has a vast amount of job applicants. But like no other company in Barcelona, they have a special way of treating them. Here’s a quick overview:

  • They call more than 100 job applicants for an interview by phone
  • Only 3 or 4 of these are invited for a visit to the company
  • They are tested by the team and the direct colleagues on: skills, personality, and behavior
  • Multiple reference calls are made to previous employers
  • Once selected, the applicant starts working for 3 weeks
  • After 3 weeks, the team evaluates the new employee. They have a strong focus on the new employee’s alignment with the company values. Every team member can use a veto during the evaluation
  • After 3 months, there’s another evaluation with a similar process
  • Once the employee has successfully passed all stages, he has a decision to make. He can choose to (1) take the job, or (2) not take the job and receive a 2-month bonus on top of the salary for the time worked (Up till now 30 employees had the chance to take the bonus. So far, nobody took it.)

Literally reinventing the way we work

There’s a long list that shows this is not a company like many others. As there’s so much to share, for now we listed the most notable differences with traditional organizations. In later blogs, we’ll come back to the practical implications of some of these innovative features.

Here’s some of the radically different approaches of Cyberclick:

  • The values of the company are determined by the employees themselves.
  • Once a week the teams preform a stand-up in which everyone has to give an example of how they experienced one of the values during that week.
  • All employees can work wherever they want.
  • All employees can work whenever they want.
  • The employees and the teams decide everything themselves. There are no bosses, managers or supervisors.
  • David’s role is therefore minimized to inspire the organization and to challenge them to look for new possibilities. He stresses this with the quote: “I actually don’t work”.
  • Every employee sets his or her own goals. The company goals are derived from these and have to be aligned with the personal goals. (Quite the opposite of what happens in traditional organization)
  • There’s no maximum amount of holidays. Holidays are not even tracked.
  • When targets are reached, there’s always a celebration.
  • Every employee gets his own training budget and can spend it on whatever he/she likes. Even for scuba diving or surfing. Cyberclick beliefs that as long as it’s good for personal development, it’s good for the company. To underline this, David refers to the following quote:

Cyberclick-1

  • There are books that every employee has to read. An example is “Crucial conversations”.
  • Every 3 months they have a book session. Every employee reads the same book and they discuss the book together during this session.
  • Everyone has to spend some hours per week using their skills to support a non governmental organization (NGO). There’s a special focus on NGO’s that focus on the local community.
  • They measure their happiness through a short daily survey. This used to be anonymous, but the employees changed this because of the high amounts of trust. The scores are discussed on a weekly basis.
  • If a very unhappy score shows up, it will be discussed immediately. Only once the problem is solved, they continue with their work.
  • They work in small teams. David believes that 8-16 persons is ideal.
  • They work with ‘Open book management‘. Everyone gets a training in basic financials so they understand the basics of the financials of the company. There’s complete transparency on this.
  • They have a profit sharing program. Above a certain profit margin, the profit gets divided among the employees.

In search for tapas

Once again we’re inspired by one of our Bucket List heroes, David Tomas. But we’re even more inspired by the fact that there are already companies that show that work can be organized (very successfully) in a radically different way. We realize this once we leave the building and are being welcomed once again by the warmth of the Mediterranean sun.

In search for some tasty tapas, we reflect on the visit and prepare ourselves for our visit to another company that is challenging the status quo: Infojobs.

Bron: klik hier

Lees hier alles over gelukkig werken en het creëren van de beste Employee Experience