It’s All About Relationships
I recently interviewed Palma Strand, cofounder of Civity, a national non-profit that supports individuals and communities in building authentic relationships across social differences. As we talked, if became clear that there were commonalities between the health of our civic communities and our corporate ones. In her work to strengthen communities, Strand noted:
“I was thinking it was going to be about going to meetings and votes and it wasn’t about that at all. The way that people felt about how their government worked, the way people felt about the issues in the country, the way people felt about their communities, it was all about relationships.”
It isn’t difficult to see how that simple yet essential observation applies to our work organizations. Gallup’s employee engagement surveys continue to indicate appalling levels of engagement at work. Gallup asks whether employees have a best friend at work precisely because the answer to that question is a strong indicator of wellbeing, engagement, and performance.
Whether enhancing the performance of first-time CEOs, building strong, high-performing teams, or building a corporate culture that is positive and healthy, an environment rich in personal relationships is essential. Paraphrasing Aldous Huxley, instead of workplaces operating with “structured uncharity,” what could your workplace be like if it was framed around people and relationships?