IBM has announced the finalists of the Workplace for the Year in New Zealand. The award categories split the finalists into groups depending on the number of employees, with with the smallest category covering businesses with fewer than 49 staff. Large companies were those with more than 750 employees with a couple of other groups in between. But that's had me thinking - what makes a great workplace?
IBM's announcement suggests career mobility, well being and "a new approach to listening" are important. I think the secret to creating a great workplace is simpler than that. Your workplace will make it to being great when it allows people to do meaningful work well.
While we hear stories of offices that install all sorts of cool stuff and use interesting design, you don't have to do those often expensive things. One of the best times in my professional life was spent in what, outwardly, looked like a bland cubicle farm.
What set it aside was that the company's leadership valued its people and made it obvious in everything from how they exhibited trust in people to supporting them in what could be a tricky political environment.
It's worth checking out the various awards given to threat workplaces but don't just focus on the winners. Check out the other finalists and look at what they are doing beyond flashy murals on the walls, pool tables and free food in the lunch-room. What is it that sets therm apart and what can you take from it?
If you could wave a magic wand at your workplace to do one thing that would make your office a great place to work, what would it be?