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  • Writer's picturekk smith

R&B’s Workplace Manifesto - 2021

Updated: Feb 23, 2021

We believe that each of us yearns to journey toward expression of our fullest self. Although each path is individual, we all require the same conditions to thrive. For example, we require a foundational sense of safety and confidence before we can take the risks necessary to improve ourselves, our organizations and our world.

Perhaps more so than in the past, people want work that empowers them to progress along their respective paths toward self-fulfillment. Given the amount of time and effort we put into our work lives, it’s little wonder that we expect something more than a paycheque. For many of us, our work products form the body of our life’s work, and at the end of the day, we need that work to matter.

We spend most of our waking adult lives at work. While the importance of relationships within neighbourhoods, extended family networks and churches has been waning, the workplace has risen to prominence as one of the central mechanisms by which we organize ourselves and connect with others.

Workplaces are more than places where we produce widgets or attend meetings. Workplaces are our communities. How we relate to one another within our workplaces creates the conditions that allow us to thrive or languish on our life’s path.

Employers therefore carry more responsibility than they may have bargained for when they first had the notion to turn a profit. Employers create the systems that govern and regulate their employees. The old days of “command and control” are done.

Employees need leaders and workplace systems that prioritize and value:

- The recognition and nurturance of employees’ unique talents;

- The encouragement of employees to work to their edge so they can grow past perceived limitations;

- honest communication, respectfully conveyed;

- allowance for diverse viewpoints; and

- sharing as much information as possible with employees so they feel included and can understand the why behind management’s decisions.

Employees need leaders and workplace systems that are strong and wise enough to:

- strike the right balance between compassion and accountability;

- absorb employees’ failures when risk and creativity don’t bear fruit the first try; and

- take the long view when otherwise committed employees fall on hard times.

Humans design systems to organize and regulate society. While many of the systems that have arisen over the past 250 years accomplished their identified prerogatives, the human and environmental costs went unmeasured, until those deficits grew so large that they threatened to overwhelm the systems themselves.

We see that now. We are capable of change. Welcome 2021.

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