Scoring in the Workplace creates Vivid Ideas
23 June 2014
There is no tried and true recipe for reaching the top at work. One thing for certain though is that the approach has changed over the past 20 years and is moving away from traditional hierarchies and 10-hour days to a more collaborative, flexible approach.
As part of Sydney’s Vivid Ideas Festival, UTS Executive Education and Coactiv8 teamed up to run a session on redefining the workplace: Scoring in the Workplace – Curating the ultimate workplace experience. Gauri Bhalla of UTS stressed the importance of giving staff real meaning in their work and letting them be their best selves. Caroline McLaren, who works with Coactiv8 and established co-working space The Hub, lives and breathes collaboration at work and believes flexibility is key to keeping employees engaged.
Participants from all industries attended the lunchtime event, part of a series on the Future of Work, to discuss new ideas and concepts around what the “new” workplace looks like. The workplace of the future has to speak to Gen Y, who have different needs to previous generations, including flexible work hours and workplace benefits that reward hard work. Brands like Google and Facebook were lauded as examples of what a cool work space can do for creativity.
But it’s not just sleep pods and ping pong tables that engage staff. SEEK, of job ads fame, is regarded as one of the most authentic and entrepreneurial workplaces in Australia. It’s not just about a funky office but allowing staff to build the brand and feel like they are doing something important together.
With a more human-centred approach, SEEK and other workplaces are looking to thinking about social challenges and giving back to their community.
Program participants used Design Thinking to crack the lock on a satisfying work experience, working through the following stages as teams:
- Empathy: Understanding personas – who are they and what are their needs?
- Insight: Identify a unifying theme that names the unmet need; create a need statement and possible solutions.
- Ideate: Brainstorm ideas about frustrations, desires and “pain points”.
- Prototype: Build your solution! Embody an idea with drawing, art, acting…singing even!
- Test: Show it to the “customer” and get feedback.
The teams’ findings spoke volumes about the future of work and what employees need to thrive, and about the importance of a culture that drives innovative ideas and motivates workers while being adaptable to change – one that understands the true needs of the employee. Workplaces that excel in these things and centre on a “human” approach to hire and nurture staff are one step ahead.