Create a refuge of balance and stability for your employees in a changing world
Peace adds a feeling of tranquility and security to the workplace, which supports your employees' ability to focus on the job and engage with others. Establishing peace in the workplace also helps manage the pressures of everyday life and find a deeper meaning in your daily work.
One way employees can find peace at their workplace is to acknowledge the realities of the future, such as change, and the role they play in the organization, rather than get mired in the past. For instance, an individual who has been with the same company for 20 years develops various ways of tracking expenses and projects. While this system was sufficient in the past, these techniques are not the most efficient today, given the expansion of computer technology.
In the above example, it is not that the value of the work has changed, but the environment has changed. This individual can pine for the past or embrace the future and the changes it brings. When an employee embraces the future, then he or she can perceive an evolving role within the organization and how that role aligns with the coming changes.
ADP Research Institute recently presented the "2016 Evolution of Work" study that analyzed key factors for transforming the global workplace. The study found that workers are seeking balance and stability within the workday in ways that differ from previous decades. The study indicated that employees desire to work on things that impact society. In addition, today's workers define security by the breadth of their professional network. Peace offers your employees a workplace infrastructure that helps preserve feelings of stability and purpose.
You can instill a sense of peace in your office by creating an environment that does not judge people as "good" or "bad, "wrong" or "right." This shift increases accountability and engagement, because the focus falls on activities, not personal value. Timelines and workload become the focus instead of whether a person was correct or not.
Focusing on the "correctness" of an employee pulls your entire team into the past and promotes blame. When you focus on activities instead, people look toward the future, which maintains forward movement of the organization's goals. (There is a difference between an employee being wrong, and work not being completed accurately. Both narratives require a corrective action, but the latter emphasizes the advancement of the goals.)
The cohesion of words and actions also reinforces peace within the workplace. When an individual says he or she will complete a task at a particular time, then the task requires completion at the specified deadline. Well-defined behaviors that unify words and actions keep people accountable for how they respond to a situation. Backing up your words with similar actions also builds trust, which impacts factors such as time management, engagement and corporate culture.
Susan Heathfield, in her article on culture, discusses the value of consciously shaping the culture of your organization. When you foster a culture of peace, you create an environment that reduces conflict, increases stability and maintains inclusiveness. The added value of matching actions to words is that you introduce fewer fractures in your organization. Unified thoughts and actions improve the level of peace experienced by your employees.
Peace is especially important in our changing world. Globalization has introduced new cultures and diverse beliefs. Peace in the workplace allows for diversity and inclusion. In a recent article from Institutional Investor, workplace diversity encouraged an atmosphere of respect.
Employees in a diverse workplace are more able to recognize the individual strengths and talents of different employees. When this diversity is supported, then peace occurs, and the narrative changes from "wrong" or "bad" to "different." People who are diverse bring their different strengths and talents to an organization in ways that would not be available to leaders who see employees as "wrong" or "bad."
Peace can be a difficult target to define. When breaking down the development of a company, peace falls into the core part of the business's infrastructure. This inner part of your business hosts the intangible. These intangibles define the culture of your business. The role of peace, within the core, is to balance the external part of the organization that outlines the activities of the business.
External activities consist of daily work, behaviors, interactions and plans. The external part is tangible and easier to measure. Both internal and external activities create the company. The relationship between the two is not unlike the relationship between sand and water along the shore. The sand shifts to accommodate the water, and the water follows the path directed by the sand. Within your company, activities, such as workload and interactions, shift as culture and engagement flow. Understanding this balance helps you maintain a calm and secure workplace that allows employees to focus more effectively.
Organizations tend to focus on the external, since it is the most visible and tangible part of the company. When you take time to balance the external workings of your organization with the internal peace within your organization, you create a secure infrastructure that plays a significant role in the success of your organization.