Humanising Work: What’s the point?

May 9, 2017 Robyn Katz

Humanising Work: What’s the point?

Watching the news is despairing, especially as the Trump administration announces cuts to the EPA, after school programs and meals on wheels. “What on earth is he thinking?” we ask ourselves. Well really the answer is obvious – and has been spelled out – in the eyes of Trump (and many business people) if something isn’t making money then it simply isn’t working.

From Trump’s perspective the success or failure of his administration hinges on the GDP. Feeding the elderly won’t help America’s GDP, neither will providing universal healthcare or protecting the environment. These things are costly, they don’t bring in any immediate return, and so they’re not working. Of course we know that not doing these things, not providing support to the vulnerable and ignoring the impending environmental crisis, comes at a much greater cost. Sometimes it’s not about short term profit – it’s about doing the right thing.

Having announced Talkpoint’s focus as “humanising work” I’ve been seeking counsel to clearly communicate our new services and aspiration. I find myself frequently being asked (including by my well-meaning father) “How does that help businesses make money?” Well of course there is ample evidence to support that happy employees are more productive, that social capital drives effective teams and cultivating curiosity and courage is crucial for innovation (there’re even more examples here). But as I start talking about all this I become increasingly flustered – the truth is I can’t promise you that you’ll notice an increase in profit as a direct result of having sponsored a Talkpoint initiative for your employees and frankly, that’s not the point!

So what is the point? I believe that, just like our governments have an obligation to support and nurture their citizens, to protect the environment we live in and to provide for the vulnerable, our organisations have obligations too. Most of us spend at least one third of our time (more than half of our waking hours) at work, and as employers, we are responsible for how our employees answer the question “How was your day?” I believe that organisations have an obligation to nurture their employees and to provide an environment where each person feels valued and has the opportunity to do their best work.

Do you believe this too? If so, simply flag your interest here or drop me a line to set up a time to talk. And if you know others who are on the mission to humanise work, please share this invitation with them as well.


Robyn Katz

Robyn is the Founder and Director of Talkpoint. She's also the best point of contact if you would like to join and/or contribute to our community.

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