At the heart of every great business are great people. And it’s easy to forget that behind every sale, every email, every social media post, and every purchase is a person finding their place in the world.
We increasingly hear buzzwords like ‘workplace wellness’ and ‘mental health’, but are business leaders genuinely concerned with their employees wellbeing or merely trying to appease them to protect their image and bottom-line? Despite the best of intentions, what business leaders often fail to realize is without people, there is no bottom-line, period.
There will inevitably come a day, perhaps sooner than we realize, when machines will take their rightful place, but even then, we don’t cease to be human. Productivity is one thing, but higher, ethical and moral principles will still have their part to play.
It’s sometimes easy to forget that humans are not machines, so they shouldn’t be treated as such.
The reimagined workplace
So what then, is the ideal environment for humans to flourish and does this environment have merits in the workplace? It’s nature, but tamed, in perfect harmony. It’s not a wild jungle, but rather a controlled environment, yet not divorced from its essence.
In Eden, you reap what you sow. There’s a direct link between effort and reward. You get out what you put in. There’s no bias, no politics, it is, what it is.
To thrive you must know your place, understand that the garden exists to serve some higher purpose. Humility is a feature to flourish there. Eden is not just about harvesting fruit, but ensuring what’s harvested is nourishing to those that taste its fruit.
Eden may seem an unattainable utopia, and in some ways it is. But there are practical lessons it can teach us about ourselves, the workplace, and how we interact with our environment and others.
What business owners should take in
For business leaders, Eden is an idea to aspire to when creating a successful workplace.
To achieve this success there’s many points to consider:
- Work and life are not divorced from each other, they are an important part of the same human experience, two sides of the same coin.
- People are not machines, so don’t treat them like machines or expect them to act like machines.
- Reward effort as well as performance, a specific mentality will go a long way to getting you results.
- Don’t be risk-adverse. There’s risk in everything, so get better at managing it.
- Failure is a part of success. Falling out of a tree will teach you how to climb one.
- Don’t coddle your employees, let them learn the tough lessons that will set them up for future success.
- Don’t lock your employees in cages, people weren’t created to live in cages. Value effort and performance over sitting in a cubicle for a set period of time. Out in the world people may find the necessary inspiration to solve problems, you’ve been trying to solve for years.
- Support your employee’s growth and aspirations, equip them enough to they don’t need you, but choose to stay, because they have found their home with you.
- Cultivate humility within the workplace, it’s very hard to learn and grow with big egos.
- Don’t overthink or over-engineer everything, let some things grow organically.
- Be brutal when needed. Hold people accountable for their decisions but give them the autonomy to make those decisions in the first place. You can assign responsibility without assigning a level of authority.
It’s a pivotal time in history, a time of great awakening and a time of mass resignations. It’s also a time of technological progress that goes to the heart of what it means to be human.
Business leaders now have a unique opportunity to rethink everything. As Charles Darwin put it, it’s not the strongest that survive, but those that are most adaptable to change.