Managing with a focus on the human dimension of workers is not a new concept. It can be traced to its origins to the Hawthorne studies conducted in the 1920s. This type of management acknowledges that in addition to economic needs and motivators, workers also have social, mental and even emotional needs and motivators. In this respect, the human style of managing seeks to promote the wholesome development of employees.
Benefits of Fostering a Human Dimension in the Workplace
There are numerous potential advantages of nurturing the human dimension of the workplace, these include, but are not limited to;
- Improved employee collaboration
- Improved employee attraction and retention
- Improved employee motivation and productivity
- Increased employee creativity
- Improved safety in the workplace
- Increased respect among employees
How to Nurture the Human Dimension
First, it should be emphasized that there is no best way to nurture the human dimension in the workplace. Nevertheless, following specific tips could guide you in the right direction.
Manage with Empathy
Empathy may be defined as the ability to sympathize with and understand the feelings and emotions of other people. Managers should lead with empathy and with an emphasis on understanding the perspectives of employees. This includes having informal talks with employees and even finding out how their days are progressing.
Incorporate a Human Dimension into Company Culture
The company culture plays a major role in defining the types of attitudes and behaviors experienced among management and employees. In light of this, it is advisable to identify the behaviors and attitudes a human-centric culture is comprised of and to incorporate these into the official company culture. The implementation of the new culture should be from top-down.
Communication has been a core part of human culture for thousands of years. Nurturing a human dimension involves encouraging employees to interact more not only among themselves but also with management and company leaders. Open communication allows people to share more easily and goes a long way in promoting innovation, team spirit and loyalty in groups.
Set Aside Workplace Social Places
Given the demanding nature of work these days, many employees experience some form of loneliness at work. To counter this and make workplaces more humane places, some companies are developing social spaces within the office. These are essentially spaces where employees can take short breaks from work, interact with co-workers and generally relax.
Encourage Employees to take Time-Offs and Vacations
Many workers in America overwork themselves. It is estimated that as many as half of the workers in the nation do not take vacations. Additionally, among those who take vacations, it is estimated that only 28% fully maximize their vacation days. Vacation and time-offs are important in enhancing the personal lives of employees; for example, by increasing the time spent with family.