TPC Leadership Middle East are delving into the topic of workforce engagement. Over this blog series, we interview a number of TPC Leadership’s leading voices to explore their take on what more organisations can be doing to support their workforce and fundamentally improve performance in the Middle East.
In this first blog of the series, we talk to TPC Leadership Founder, Charles Brook, to consider how organisations have a responsibility to support their workforce in a meaningful and sustainable way so they can thrive at work and fulfil their potential.
“I think for far too long we have had this concept about performance in the workplace – that performance is everything and profitability rules. Both of these are important of course for an organisation to be successful, and for it to be healthy and thrive. But at what cost?
Many organisations don’t put their people–strategy at the centre of what they do; the focus needs to be on helping them thrive and flourish in the workplace.”
Why is this topic important?
“Human beings will perform better if they are in a place where they feel they are capitalising on their potential, doing what they love to do in an environment where they want to work. And the bottom line is the company will benefit. On the other hand when people aren’t in that place, what do you get?
Well, at worst you get significant burn out, health issues, retention issues and difficulty attracting people to work for the organisation. I truly believe that organisations and leaders have a responsibility to their people in helping them flourish and thrive.”
Why do organisations find it challenging?
“There’s the whole investor-stakeholder pressure, whether the company is owned, for example, by an investment house, or perhaps an organisation has to perform to certain criteria on the stock market.
I think another piece of the puzzle is what I would call the leadership legacy; the role modelling of leadership in the organisation that starts at the top. This is from the CEO’s agenda, or even the chairman’s agenda down to the board agenda. In my experience, there’s some fabulous leadership role models, but for every good one, there’s two or three bad ones. And so it’s rare to find good leadership that are role modelling the right behaviours to their teams. For example, there’s no point telling your people to adopt flexible working if they see the board members working weekends and late into the night. Leaders have to role model by looking after themselves.
The final challenge is that leaders need to know what to do. On some level, one needs to understand the strategies, the techniques and the methodologies to put in place to successfully look after yourself, your team and your people. And there’s a lack of education around that.”
What is TPC Leadership’s approach to address this business issue?
“A model that I stand by and would like to focus on is the Wheel of Thrive. This model asks you to choose eight elements that contribute towards you being able to thrive and flourish in the workplace (and in your wider life for that matter).
Next you score yourself in the centre of the diagram using the scale 0-10. Look at each section in turn and ask yourself, how much at present am I fulfilling this? Do I have a sense of achievement surrounding it? Am I appropriately prioritising it?
This score is a snapshot in time – if you did this in a week’s time or a month’s time, it could be very different.
Then, when you’ve got a score on each of those eight dimensions, you can start to think, okay, so this is my current score, what do I need in order to move up to achieve a higher score? What might you like the score to be? What things are in my control or in my sphere of influence that I can change? If there is any particular area that is very low, think about how you can move that score up to thrive and be successful.”
What value can be created by this approach?
“From an organisational point of view, if you want to have people who are attracted to your organisation and people who stay in your organisation, who are creative and who go the extra mile, start where you can and that is with yourself. All change starts here.
Everybody in the organisation impacts or influences the others, so with this model you can start to think about how the levels of your wheel might be affecting the team, or indeed what you can do in service of the workforce to help their Wheel of Thrive.
As a leader you might ask your team to fill out the wheel to gather a plan for each of your people. In that way you will have more knowledge about what buttons to press that could help those individuals thrive more, or even call people out when they are doing things that are counterproductive for a thriving environment.
TPC Leadership’s approach can support organisations with getting intentional on their stance, help them be clear on how they can shift and enhance or adapt their current processes or systems to encourage reflection and resilience. Looking at performance management systems, recognition and reward systems, TPC Leadership equips leaders on what they can do to look after themselves and thus successfully guide their people.”
So what is the main takeaway?
“In businesses it’s paramount that we nurture our teams so they can be sustainable, productive workers that enjoy doing what they do. Organisations need to spend time thinking about how they can support their workforce to be in the place of optimal performance. This shouldn’t be left to one department, but rather be an organisational responsibility and should ideally occur at all levels, from a management board perspective to being demonstrated within all teams, by all leaders and individuals of those teams.
If you as a leader are thriving as a role model it will create a culture that empowers your workforce to let go of perceived constraints and limiting beliefs, so they can engage with their role and make a powerful impact in your organisation.”
If you’d like to hear more about how TPC Leadership can support your organisation to successfully and sustainably engage their workforce, please get in touch.