What is the best way to say thank you?

What is the best way to say thank you?

Blogs and Stories

What is the best way to say thank you?

Author: Peter Maguire
Published On: September 23, 2021
gratitude

A recent article by Elizabeth Hopper in Greater Good Magazine reports on a new study into what the most effective way to say thank you is.

219 college students from the USA and Taiwan participated in a gratitude activity in which they wrote about three things they were grateful for over a two week period. They were then asked to thank the person involved by their preferred method (in person, by video call or via text).

At the beginning and end of the two weeks, they all competed surveys to measure their feelings of wellbeing, connections with others, depression, loneliness and happiness.

Th researchers found that people who expressed gratitude increased their wellbeing with little difference in effectiveness of the method used to say thank you. Video calls were just as effective as meeting in person which (given the virtual world that we have been living in) probably should not come as that much of a surprise. Texting was rated as only slightly less effective but still of value.

However, one of the other findings was that people found expressing gratitude in person a bit more embarrassing than doing it by text.

You can access the full article here.

 This is why there is tremendous value in a platform like ShareTree which builds a culture of gratitude in organisations expressing it through the lens of virtues and character strengths. It also leverages these expressions of gratitude as a positive means of understanding character strengths and growing our own awareness of and capabilities in our character strengths.

That is why we chose ShareTree as one of our preferred platforms for helping ourselves and our clients and communities to flourish using strengths for wellbeing.

Check out ShareTree in this video and, if you are interested in exploring it further, call Peter Maguire on 0438 533 311 or email us at info@poswork.com.au.

CONTACT US

PosWork

A Division of Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

info@poswork.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311

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A remarkable outcome

A remarkable outcome

Blogs and Stories

A REMARKABLE OUTCOME

Author: Peter Maguire
Published On: September 13, 2021
people better workplace team

A number of years ago, I consulted to an organisation which was wrestling with a lot of challenges with its business and its people. The organisation had close on 200 staff and business units spread across Australia.  

Undertaking an initial diagnostic, we discovered that there were significant problems and work to be done in a lot of areas – on organisational structure, in HRM systems and processes, in communications, in staff engagement and trust and in staff wellbeing. 

The findings were not really much of a surprise to management albeit that the depth of the challenges ahead were probably a bit more than was expected. 

10 months later, when we went back to take another look, you wouldn’t recognise the organisation from the one that we had explored not that long ago. People were excited about the organisation, felt engaged and well-supported by their managers and were happily involved in practical HR processes that worked.

In fact, one of the staff that I interviewed told me: “Thank you for helping us – you have changed our lives!”

Needless to say, we were blown away at the scope of the change that had been wrought in less than a year. Even more so, when we discovered that, midway through the year, there had been a major restructure with 30% of middle managers being retrenched and yet they had still achieved remarkable positive change.

So what happened? 

In essence, what happened is a best practice lesson in change management which had 6 key attributes.

Management owned it

The management group took all of the feedback from the diagnostic on board without exception and committed to acting on it. There was no cover up, there were no excuses but there was honesty and vulnerability. The organisation then invested in a Project Team led by a senior manager to work on finding and implementing solutions to the problems identified in the diagnostic report.

Leaders engaged with people to work on the project

The Project Leaders  decided to set up a Project Team with staff representatives from all areas of the business. Selection criteria were developed and people applied to be on the Project Team and then were selected on merit having regard to the selection criteria. The role involved not just having a say about the issues raised but also actively working on solutions and leading their implementation in their own teams. 

People had genuine voice

The Staff Representatives worked with their own teams to communicate what the Project Team was doing and initiatives that were being planned as well as to generate ideas from their own teams that they could bring back to the Project Team. Because people saw that their contributions were genuinely being considered and in some cases influenced the way a matter was to be dealt with, they became more engaged and positive about the Project.

Strategic management of agenda for change and communications

The Project Leaders developed a simple and practical methodology for consistently managing agenda items and their roll-out across the organisation. The Project Team identified a set of core challenges that came out of the Diagnostic Report and then set to work on these one at a time using the same methodology. This involved putting together a packet of communications and tools for each of the challenges and training Staff Representatives in how to deliver those with their teams. Project Leaders did the same with the management group. Everyone was getting the same messages delivered in the same way as well as having the opportunity to have their say right across the organisation.

Fun and celebration

The Project Leader ensured that the activities undertaken in support of the project had an element of play and fun not just for the Project Team but also in the packets that they rolled out to teams across the business. The Project Team also celebrated progress with each of the challenge packets and senior management acknowledged the successes so everyone felt involved and valued for their contributions.

Time and money 

 Management invested the time and the money to make this work, treating it commercially as an organisational priority. The Project Leaders had dedicated roles in the project and were freed up to do those. The Staff Representatives were provided with the time to participate actively on the Project Team and in their own teams and people across the organisation were all allowed the time to engage and participate in the process.    

The role that I played in the organisation was simply to have conversations with people across the business about what life was like for them – what worked and what could be better – and then present that information back to management in a structured and positive way (ie what were the strengths and where were the opportunities for improvement). Today, this is what we do in our Better Workplace Projects.

There can be nothing more fulfilling for a consultant than to see an organisation take on that feedback, to really own it and do something positive about it. That is why this is an experience that I am truly grateful for.

CONTACT US

PosWork

A Division of Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

info@poswork.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311

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How Appreciative Inquiry builds psychological safety

How Appreciative Inquiry builds psychological safety

Blogs and Stories

How Appreciative Inquiry builds psychological safety

Author: Peter Maguire
Published On: September 7, 2021
meeting happy appreciative inquiry

Over the past decade, the term “psychological safety” has become more and more prevalent in conversations about how we can make high performing organisations and how we can deal with mental health challenges in the workplace.

There has been quite a bit of activity in building tools and platforms that organisations can use to improve their policies and practices in workplace wellbeing and mental health. Most of these use what many see as the proven risk management methodologies that underpin Workplace Health and Safety compliance models.

In our view, these will be of limited effectiveness because setting policies, educating people about their responsibilities under the policies and enforcing the policies does not make people feel psychologically safe.

These systems rely heavily on people making complaints/reporting non-compliances and they are not likely to do that if they don’t feel psychologically safe to do so.

Let’s reframe psychological safety through an Appreciative Inquiry lens

Appreciative Inquiry is a proven change methodology that utilises a positive psychology approach with a focus on how to utilise the strengths of an organisation or group to address challenges or improvement opportunities.

In “Appreciative Inquiry A Positive Revolution in Change” by David L Cooperrider (Co-Creator of AI) and Diana Whitney (An AI Consultant and Author), one of the interesting questions explored is why AI gets such engagement from people and such great results.

A study done by Whitney and an associate Amanda Trosten-Bloom identified six essential conditions that AI generates to achieve that engagement and success – the six freedoms:

1. Freedom to be known in relationship: Essentially this means that people have the opportunity to be themselves as human beings and get to know each other on that basis rather than being typecast in roles. That builds bridges across “boundaries of power and authority” and helps to level the playing field for everyone.

2. Freedom to be heard: This is more than just listening to what someone has to say. It is about being curious and empathetic and really understanding the person’s story. By having appreciative conversations with people, they feel included and that they have a voice which is being heard. By acting on what people have to say, you tell them that their voice is valued.
3. Freedom to dream in community: In today’s complex world, visionary leadership means unleashing the dreams of people at all levels of the organisation. It is about being a safe place where large, diverse groups of people can share their dreams in dialogue with each other.
4. Freedom to choose to contribute: When people believe that they can choose to make a contribution and commit to doing a project, they are buying into it, not because they have to but because they want to. That creates determination and
people do what is necessary to make it work.
5. Freedom to act with support: When people know that people care about their work and are anxious to cooperate, they feel safe to experiment, innovate and learn. Whole system support stimulates people to take on challenges and draws people into acts of cooperation that bring out their best.
6. Freedom to be positive: In organisations today, it is simply not the norm to have fun, be happy or be positive. AI works because it creates the context for people to be positive and it has the power to not only make people feel pride in their work experiences but also to transform negative discourse and negative thinking into positive ideas and innovation.

Let’s reposition that to everyday work

As noted above, the common approach to dealing with psychological safety is the classic risk management model – risk assessment > policy > education > compliance. That is deficit thinking and it is actually part of the problem rather than being a solution.

The 6 freedoms set out above are related to the Appreciative Inquiry process and what it delivers in practice through a positive thinking approach.

Let’s take those freedoms and transform them into a set of 6 statements that might shine a really different light on what psychological safety really means every day at work.

Here are those 6 statements:

1. I get the opportunity to be myself and I am appreciated for that.

2. I genuinely have a voice which is listened to with curiosity and respect, and I believe that I have a positive impact with what I say.

3. I am encouraged to share my ideas and dreams with everyone, and I do that because it feels safe to do so.

4. I have opportunities to get involved in projects and I can make the choice myself as to whether I do, and, if so, what I do.

5. I am happy to experiment and learn new things because I feel supported by the system and the people.

6. I enjoy positive emotions because I feel good about the way we do things here.

Of course, our businesses and our people all experience challenges of one sort or another every day. We all have our struggles as individuals, teams and organisations.

Adopting a positive psychology approach won’t eliminate the struggles – they are just part of life. What it will do is make the process of dealing with those struggles so much more positive and engaging and deliver far better outcomes than just “fixing the problem”.

CONTACT US

PosWork

A Division of Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

info@poswork.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311

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Using strengths for resilience

Using strengths for resilience

Blogs and Stories

Using strengths for resilience 

By: Peter Maguire
Published On: August 15, 2021
strengths via character

This blog by Marjorie Aunos is fantastic. It tells how character strengths played an integral role in helping her to come to terms with a life changing traumatic event in her life and build resilience through a positive mindset. Plus there are some great take away strategies that anyone can use. Thank you, Marjorie. https://www.viacharacter.org/…/character-strengths-and…

We use the VIA Character Strengths Framework as an integral element of our coaching programs because we know that a strengths-based approach brings much deeper and more powerful insights for anyone. Marjorie’s story is testament to that.

Find out more about our coaching and strengths work here.

 

 

CONTACT US

PosWork

A Division of Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

info@poswork.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311

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More Lessons on “Work Wellbeing”

More Lessons on “Work Wellbeing”

Blogs and Stories

More lessons on “work wellbeing”

Posted by: Peter Maguire
Posted On: July 3, 2021

“Work Wellbeing: Leading thriving teams in rapidly changing times” is a book written by social researchers, Mark McCrindle and Ashley Fell and released in 2020.

In the book, they explore the findings from a series of surveys and other research that they undertook over the period 2017 – 2019 on the questions of what the state of work wellbeing is in Australia and what are ways to enhance work wellbeing.

As the above infographic shows, there are some very significant findings for employers:

  • 83% of employed Australians say providing work wellbeing is very important and the responsibility of the employer
  • 62% say mental health and stress of workers is the biggest factor impacting the future of work
  • 72% say that work wellbeing is the most important element of a workplace
  • Workplaces that have a commitment to worker wellbeing perform much better in staff retention (x2.6), employee engagement (x3.1) and worker recommendation of their employer (x4.3).

These findings are highly consistent with other wellbeing studies such as the National Workplace Wellbeing Surveys undertaken by AHRI in conjunction with the Wellbeing Lab and those undertaken by Superfriend.

This book features a wellbeing wheel which displays the authors’ concept of a wellbeing framework with 8 fields of wellbeing:

  1. Family relationships
  2. Financial security
  3. Vocational purpose
  4. Personal mental, emotional and spiritual health
  5. Social relationships
  6. Current financial earnings
  7. Vocational impacts and workload
  8. Physical health and fitness

This is just a slightly different way of looking at wellbeing and arguably complements other models such as PERMAH (Positive emotions – Engagement – Relationships – Meaning – Accomplishments – Health) or the Superfriend framework (Leadership – Connectedness – Policy – Capability – Culture).

Importantly the study recognises one very significant point which is that the average person spends 33% of more than half our years of life at work.

As a very wise shop steward said to me 40 years ago: “You spend a third of your life at work, Peter….. you had better bloody enjoy it!”

That is very true and obviously the better we can make the work experience for people, the greater the positive impact is going to be on the mental health of our broader community.

That is one of the reasons that we developed our Better Workplace suite of programs – because we know that businesses who invest in wellbeing can have a really positive impact on societal mental health….and we want to help businesses do that.

In conclusion, the book is worth a read and does provide some different ways of looking at work wellbeing and how to make it better.

We use tools like PERMAH and Appreciative Inquiry because they are tried and tested and universally recognised models and we know that they are simple to use and they work.

Having said that, it never hurts to look at the issues through someone else’s eyes.

 

CONTACT US

PosWork

A Division of Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

info@poswork.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311

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Do you want real protection against workplace risk?

Do you want real protection against workplace risk?

Blogs and Stories

Do you want real protection against workplace risk?

Author: Peter Maguire
Published on: June 1, 2021

I recently read an article published on the ABC about what organisations need to do to address one of the main issues in the spotlight at the moment – sexual harassment.

Here is the article: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-01/preventing-sexual-harassment-workplace-reform/13187766

It features a couple of academics advocating a “systemic and proactive approach” and it points to guidance material released by Safe Work Australia – “Preventing Workplace Sexual Harassment, National Guidance Material, January 2021”.

Unsurprisingly, that, in the main, takes the form of the normal and established risk management approach of:

  • Legislative obligations and penalties
  • Hierarchical workplace responsibility chains
  • Risk assessment and control measures
  • Policies and procedures
  • Complaint/non-compliance reporting and investigation
  • Consequences for non-compliance

One of the interesting things about this article is the premise that organisations are now being required to address sexual harassment as a Workplace Health and Safety matter as if this is something new – is it really?

We have had a duty to provide a safe workplace and safe systems of work for a long time, haven’t we? Personally, I can recall dealing with cases of psychological and emotional risk to people in workplaces as far back as the 1980s.

Even leaving aside the unfortunate facts of sexual harassment in itself, surely we have all known for a long time that it also adds substantial risks to the mental and emotional health and, in some cases, physical health of the victims?

Do you know what the biggest problem that we have in addressing what we really need to do to change attitudes and behaviours in our workplaces is? It is the belief that we can solve this with the traditional “systemic and proactive approach” which is really one of WHS risk management as embodied in Safe Work Australia’s guidance materials ie do a risk assessment, identify control measures, create a policy, communicate it to people, require compliance and punish non-compliance.

That might help to suppress the more obvious and overt sexual harassment for fear of punishment, but it won’t change the underlying attitudes and (anti)social norms that drive the unwanted behaviours in the first place.

What is needed is a new human-centred approach that treats all people as human beings rather than just human resources.

We need to apply a positive mindset and focus on using strengths to foster the right behaviours rather than just having a deficit mindset about fixing what is wrong.

We need to change language in organisations and ensure that we call out and correct inappropriate language at all levels and in all contexts with everyone feeling both empowered to do that and psychologically safe to make the call.

We need to be real about managing the human risks ie the people who we know are most at risk of doing the wrong thing and educating and coaching them to do the right thing as a matter of habit.

We need to develop real character in our businesses where values are reflected in everyday behaviour and people believe them, practise them and trust in their wellbeing at work.

We need to have systems which recognise and reward the right behaviours not just sanction the wrong behaviours.

We need to do all of this in an engaging way ie one which is inviting, educational, culture enriching and accessible in a modern way.

This is where ShareTree comes in. It is a revolutionary platform for bringing about cultural change through a combination of positive mindset, character strengths, gratitude and modern technology. It supports every one of the needs identified above.

Check it out at https://sharetree.org or give me a call to have a chat about it on 0438 533 311.

CONTACT US

PosWork

A Division of Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

info@poswork.com.au

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

Peter Maguire : 0438 533 311

LET'S HAVE A CHAT