‘Woke’ is a term that became popular in the latter half of 2016 thanks to the numerous political events that occurred in the US. They were much publicized and sparked important conversations among people on deeply divisive issues such as race, equal rights, gender rights, etc. The term ‘woke’ is now used to refer to anyone who understands the issue intellectually as well as personally, someone who is informed and usually, someone who supports these liberal movements.
However, ‘woke’ also means being connected, open-minded and empathetic to others. These are not qualities that usually associated with the business world, yet more and more companies are looking for ways to reverse the automation of their workers, a trend that started in the 80’s and continued until the early 2000’s. Their solution? Open the eyes of their employees to the world a little more and teach them to be more ‘human.’ Here is how they are going about it.
While some companies still struggle with this, many companies in fact are now looking into relaxing years of rigid rules to allow for more open-mindedness and freedom of expression. They start will the simple things: casual dress Fridays, more colour and creativity in the work stations, less strict rules about punctuality and more emphasis on productivity etc. These have allowed employees to focus more on their performance without worrying about the human resource department pulling them up for lax attire. Some companies even go so far as to taking an employee culture survey every few months, to make sure that the culture remains vibrant, innovative, active and open to new possibilities and ideas.
Promoting Outreach and CSR Projects
Again, some companies may do this for the PR opportunities, but many promote outreach programmes and corporate social responsibility projects among the wider community because they wish their company members to be more connected with the communities and customers they are dealing with. Engagement surveys for the workplace show that individuals feel more empathy for others when they can see the difference they are making in front of their eyes or business coaching Adelaide. In many businesses, where the end result is often numbers on a spread sheet, it is important for workers lower on the ladder to know that they are capable of touching lives. This helps them become more connected and ‘woke.’
Promoting Open Communication
One of the banes of a toxic work environment is backbiting and gossip. Gossip occurs in every job; that is unavoidable. However, vicious, malicious rumours can damage a reputation before the individual even before they arrive and it can ruin work relationships. Therefore, it is always important to promote open communication. This can be achieved through frequent team meetings and huddles, which will help members bond and develop real friendships; focus group discussions from a cross section of the company can help those on the two ends of the corporate hierarchy connect and hear each other’s problems; and having effective team leaders who can gain their team’s trust goes a long way in cementing open communication in any office. Once the backbiting stops, people automatically become more ‘woke’ as they start to focus on more important issues.