Creating Happy, Energized and Productive Workplaces

A. Why Even Have Happy Workplaces?

Organizations are designed to use talent, resources and ideas to achieve goals that benefit a chosen set of customers within a market. The talent and the ideas come from people, who form the most important facet, and are a source of diverse capabilities within any enterprise. Happy people are known to produce exemplary results, demonstrate loyalty, foster collaboration, have an appetite for risk-taking and creativity, and attract other talented people who also enjoy working in joyful workplaces. Happy companies are also more successful and show evidence of higher customer loyalty.

Yet the way organizational structures and processes are designed, they do need to use power and authority to get things done. This is where organizations fail to appreciate that the unbridled use of power, and a reliance on toxic, competitive politics to get things done, gives rise to workplaces that do not display any, or even a few of, the following nine key virtues that distinguish ordinary companies from those that are happy, vibrant, effective and competitive:

  • Creativity, ideation and value-creation across all levels
  • Happy, Committed Employees eager to serve their end-customers, while making very few willful or inadvertent errors
  • Open communications and swift problem-solving
  • Productive use of resources and time, keeping overall value-creation in mind
  • Responsiveness to deal with internal organizational issues
  • Collaboration across divisions and functions
  • Talent Development
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Ethical behaviour and transparency

B. How Do We Create Such Workplaces? There are four key levers that need to be marshaled and actuated to create workplaces that are warm, happy, innovative and productive. These are:

  • Organizational Values and Principles – especially those that revolve around Purpose/Mission, Climate, Communications, Employee Autonomy, Appraisals, Trust, Teamwork, and Recognition
  • Talent Development and Management, including encouraging the creation of Individual Development Plans, Acquiring for attitude, and Stimulating Life-affirming behaviours
  • Aligning Metrics and Recognition and Reward Systems – across the organization
  • Leading by Example – encouraging leaders to “walk the talk”.

Bharat Wakhlu Founder and President, The Wakhlu Advisory

Bharat Wakhlu

  • President, The Wakhlu Advisory | Leadership Mentor | Keynote Speaker & Author

Bharat’s differentiating characteristic is his abiding commitment to the long-term success, and advancement of those he serves. A leader with impeccable decision-making and people skills, Bharat has the power to work collaboratively to resolve problems, and unleash the talents of culturally diverse groups, to make wholesome and lasting change.

An author of four books, his most recent one (co-authored with his wife, Savita) ‘Navigating the Maze – Simple, Smarter, Strategies to Fast-Track Success’ is especially suited to address the myriad concerns of professionals working in a fast-paced, interconnected and volatile world.

He is the former India Managing Director for the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, the Stratford USA based Helicopter OEM, now a part of Lockheed Martin. Prior to that, he was with the Tata Group in diverse senior roles for over three decades. Bharat’s work with the Tata Group and Sikorsky has given him unique capabilities in the areas of organisational performance, process and value improvement, leadership and team development, ethical decision-making, governance, responsible business and much more.

Bharat believes that customer centricity, ethics & integrity, management of processes & products and leadership should form the bedrock of any successful, scalable operation. He has conceptualised and delivered innovative and path-breaking solutions to complex organisational issues, in industries as varied as aerospace and defence, industrial products and start-ups. Workers’ unions have frequently sought Bharat’s advice on matters related to labour productivity and management interactions.

A sought-after speaker, he is passionate about working with values and ethics and unfolding innovation and beneficial change. He is a Fellow of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), and of the All India Management Association (AIMA). And serves on several boards as well.

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