Put Inspiration to Work


On Monday, a colleague sent a personal message to our team that read You may already know but just in case, today is New Student Convocation in the Greek Theatre, 5pm-6pm (doors open at 4pm). If you need a little positive spirit, I’d highly recommend coming to this event! It really brings that excitement ceremony of a “new year” on a college campus and also shows our students we are one big community!” What he was talking about, in work culture terms, was ‘inspiration’. Inspiring is defined by Great Place to Work® as helping people understand the value of their efforts and the meaning behind their work. Great companies create a sight line to the goals of the organization that help individuals recognize and apply the value they bring to the organization. This builds pride.

On August 18th, members of our Learning and Development team attended the Culture Summit 2016 in San Francisco and learned about The Energy Project, an organization of energy champions who help create workplaces that are healthier, happier, and higher performing. In partnership with the Harvard Business Review, The Energy Project deployed The Quality of Life @ Work study of 20,000 employees around the world to assess factors that most influence how people feel at work, and how they perform as a result. The survey confirmed that leaders set the tone for the energy of their team and are critical role models for positive practices. However, only 20% of employees reported having a leader who communicates a vision that is clear, consistent, and inspiring. “Those that did reported being 70% more satisfied with their jobs, 56% more engaged, and 100% more likely to stay with their organizations.”

So how do we expand and renew a sense of meaning and purpose in our work?

Here are a few inspiring practices from inspiring leaders:

  • Niki Lustig, leader of the Learning and Organizational Development team at Twitter facilitated a process to help managers define the unique purposes of their teams by drafting team purpose statements. She started by creating a 10 minute, 9 question “Purpose Pre-Work Survey. She then led teams through a process of consolidation into a concise statement that was“inspirational and aspirational” and that fit closely within the organizational context. To learn more about this process, read ‘Can Higher Purpose Help Your Team Survive and Thrive?’ by Brad Wolfe.
  • James Carroll, Assistant Director, Residential Education at UC Berkeley facilitated participation of all ResEd professional staff in the Berkeley Staff Experience Certificate Program. The program, designed by Resident Director, Marney Randle, serves to engage employees in activities that connect them closer to the mission and purpose of the University. ResEd staff completed activities in four engagement areas: self care, professional development, the Berkeley experience, and the student experience to earn program certification. A few examples included attending New Student Convocation and celebrating on Sproul Plaza during Admissions Decision Day. This effort demonstrated leadership commitment to campus engagement that connects and inspires staff.

What is your inspiring practice?

Erin Wixson, Senior Organizational Consultant

Photo credit: © 2016 www.knowyourwhy.com




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