Humanity in the Workplace: A Path Forward

April 9, 2021

I recently had a conversation with culture expert MaryCay Durrant on the importance of Humanity in the Workplace. MaryCay is a consultant with the renowned culture consulting firm, Gagen MacDonald, so she has seen time and time again the impact that a corporate culture can make. Read on to see what MaryCay had to say about the future of humanity in the workplace.

Business leaders have been saying “the future of work is coming” for awhile now. This new style will be more creative and allow for more flexibility and freedom for employees. This sounds easy and great, until we recognize that it can represent a challenge to leaders oriented towards risk management, control, and efficiency.
As companies and leaders quickly adapted to all that happened in the last year, the future of work is now here. Companies are embracing remote work, virtual meetings, and finding ways to onboard and engage with employees without being in the same work environment.

Through all of this, we have seen that humanity in the workplace is taking a leading role. Leaders are needing to be more empathetic, have a more human touch when leading, and really understand their employees as whole people. But what does this mean as we all look to move forward?

There are several important implications, including purpose. Over the last few years, a trend has been emerging of people placing a higher value on purpose within their work, over simply earning a paycheck. They want to be fulfilled with how they spend their time every day, and often need to have it serve a greater purpose or mission they believe in. In a 2016 study by PWC, 83% of employees surveyed said having meaning in their day-to-day work was of high value. This past year gave many people a chance to pause and reflect on what they truly value. And how these values are reflected in their daily work is of importance to them. So, how do leaders ensure their employees are finding purpose and value in their work, especially when they are not working together in-person?

There has always been a focus on having Emotional Intelligence (EQ), known as the ability to effectively manage our feelings and relationships, as a critical skill for leaders. But as we continue to navigate a remote and hybrid work environment with employees placing more value on purpose, the need for Spiritual Intelligence (SQ) has become more needed.

According to Thrive Global, SQ means having more presence and awareness, having a clear sense of personal mission, and having focus without losing sight of the big picture. All are recognized as signs of a good leader — and these traits are specifically cultivated through spiritual practices. So much of this thinking changes when leaders remember their employees are people – people who have emotions and are looking for a bigger purpose in their work. Learning to lead with SQ gives managers a new way to have empathy and understanding for their employees, which is even more critical when so many interactions are still happening over a screen. We have lost many of the social cues that would tell us how someone is really doing, and so leaders need to rely on understanding what someone values and finds purposeful to truly be able to lead and guide them to being the best employee they can.

This focus on purpose, and employees as whole humans, is not a new concept. It’s something that is the foundation for many strong work cultures. When people feel valued, understood, and truly known, they will perform at their best.

MaryCay Durrant, Culture Expert

To learn more about Humanity in the Workplace, helping employees find purpose in their work, and the things that can actually kill humanity in the workplace, please join me and MaryCay Durrant as we discuss how to truly “put people first” in a live webinar on April 28th at 11:00AM EDT. In this webinar, you’ll get inspiration and practical tips on how to leverage humanity in the workplace to the benefit of your business, people, and even society at large. And the webinar is FREE! Click here to register. 

Together, we truly can build Unstoppable Cultures!



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