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Bring your whole self to work

Posted by Meg Bear on April 25, 2011


Warning!

I’m about to jump into the whole social, privacy, generational divide topic with both feet (occasionally they come out of my mouth, but I digress).

I’m happily noticing that I am not alone in my belief that to be a fantastic employee you have to be a whole person.

I see this idea of “whole self” as the cultural shift that companies need to be addressing.  I think this is the real issue behind many of the “work/life balance” discussions.

Encouraging employees to be full and complete people — with a wealth of experiences, ideas, commitments, values and thoughts to offer your company, is a linchpin for most engagement strategies.

So why don’t more companies focus on making this part of their culture?

Treating employees as people vs. resources is administratively complex.  It requires a re-think of job codes, working hours and work environments.  It changes the very nature of the worker-employer contract.  It is individual vs. general.  It is rooted in personal accountability and responsibility.  It is not easily managed by rules and policy.  It is often tough to measure.  I can feel the discomfort of the readers in the HR function already😉.

So why do it?

It creates  employees that give more than just the bare minimum required to earn their pay.

For many of us, being treated like an adult, unlocks passion and removes stress.  The effort that was spent on keeping up two different selves, can be channeled to productivity (both personally and professionally).

I feel inspired and blessed to work for a company like Oracle that really “gets it”.    They understand that I’m as equally likely to be moving forward a product escalation at midnight, as I am to be attending the Site Council at my kids school at 3:30 in the afternoon on a weekday.    Being able to both, is what keeps my head in the game and helps remove a lot of the strain that comes from being a working mom.

This is a big shift to the HR and managerial functions, but the opportunity cost and opportunity rewards are equally big.  The proliferation of technology/connectivity and the increase of globalization, are accelerating this trend.

The ideas of privacy and work vs. life are changing, how do you plan to make this work for you and for your company?

6 Responses to “Bring your whole self to work”

  1. Meg, I completely agree. And I think good managers have been attempting to implement the kind of people management you’re promoting, even when they have to do a run around their rigid HR policies to do so. I’m also thankful to work for a company like Oracle that seems to understand I bring my entire self to my work and they offer me the flexibility I require. It just makes me want to work harder for them. Thanks for the post.

  2. […] Bear presents Bring your whole self to work posted at TalentedApps, saying, “Encouraging employees to be full and complete people — […]

  3. […] Meg Bear points out, we are asking employees to bring their whole selves to work. Isn’t it in our interests that we […]

  4. […] Bear presents Bring your whole self to work poste&#100&#32&#97t TalentedApps, saying, “Encouraging employees to be full and […]

  5. “It creates employees that give more than just the bare minimum required to earn their pay” Agreed. Also I liked the idea of effort spent on keeping up two different selves, can be channeled to productivity.

  6. amuthanjrv said

    Nice thoughts on how to bridge the gap between work and life.

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