Should you focus on “improving the human experience”?
Get insights on how to bring a more human experience and benefits to your workplace.
Which of the following quotes best describes your attitude towards work?
“If this was supposed to be fun, they wouldn’t call it work.”
“The master of the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his game, his work and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He barely knows who is who. He simply pursues his vision of excellence in everything he does, letting others decide whether he works or plays. For him, he always does both. ”? James A. Michener
Maybe a better question is: how do you want your team, your employees, and maybe your customers to feel about working with you?
“Elevating the human experience: three paths to love and value at work”By Amelia Dunlop seeks to understand what workers expect from work. I recently received a review copy and I have to admit I had a mixed reaction and a lot of questions.
At first glance, I was dubious. Who wouldn’t after hearing things like “People are our greatest asset” or “We value emotional intelligence and servant leadership” only to go to work and experience something more like “I’m paying you.” to introduce you and make me money ”.
Then, as I started to read, I got curious. And I encourage you to do the same. What saved me from this book was that it was based on a study conducted by Dunlop of 6,000 people in the United States.
Amelia Dunlop integrates the human experience
Author Amelia Dunlop is Chief Experience Officer at Deloitte Digital and US Customer Strategy and Applied Design Leader. She helps organizations develop winning strategies that combine design, creativity and strategy.
“As marketers,” she says, “we have the opportunity to create more human experiences, gaining long-term loyalty and trust in the process. And that’s the focus of her work as she leads a team that uses human-centric design and insight strategies to focus on the human experience instead of just the customer experience.
It helps to know that Dunlop studied theology and then worked in management consulting for a company that highly valued “moral purpose”
Does raising people improve the bottom line?
Studies show that when employee needs are met, profitability can skyrocket. For example, a Gallup Survey 2020 found that companies with engaged employees can see their profitability increase by 23%.
In the “Foundation” section of the book, Dunlop reviews the five distortions of work. These are the behaviors that have hindered work and serve as a path to self-actualization. They understand:
- Separate humanity from work. In our quest for employee management, we have replaced names with numbers and efficient transactions rather than relationships.
- Head-to-heart price. We favor profitable performance over human commitment. For example, promoting people who achieve results in inhuman ways.
- Work takes over our lives instead of being part of life. We reward and set expectations that employees and suppliers are “always on”.
- The same work is evaluated differently depending on who does it. We still have a long way to go to compensate employees equally based on skill, contribution and task rather than gender and race.
Elevating the human experience empowers the individual
It’s no surprise that happy, engaged employees generate higher profits and productivity. And, of course, leaders are responsible for creating systems and cultures that engage employees.
But here’s where “Elevate the human experience“is a little different. It’s not necessarily written for the leader. It’s written for the individual. Instead of focusing on the people, systems and organizations you can’t change, Dunlop shows you how to lead and uplift those around you.
It does this by giving the reader three paths:
The first path is an inner path where you first learn to love yourself and recognize your own worth. This is the path of entrepreneurship.
The Second Path is to recognize the worth of another. In this journey, you are shifting the focus from yourself to another person in your life. I see this more as a work trip for another person; maybe a boss or a client.
The Third Way is to learn to recognize and love the people you work with every day. While this can easily apply to a business owner or executive, it can also apply to a small business owner or team member.
Dunlop calls these paths, but I tend to visualize them more as a ripple effect you might get when you throw rocks in a pond.
What you will appreciate “Elevate the human experience“
“To elevate the human experience is to recognize intrinsic worth as a human and to nurture growth through love. “
If you are one of those people who have been frustrated by observing the futility of running businesses from a more human perspective, you will appreciate this book.
First, it is grounded in solid research which is expertly illustrated throughout the book.
As you can see from this image from the book, the illustrations appear to be hand drawn, giving them a very warm and human touch. Another advantage is that you will see how your answers might compare to the data.
“Elevate the human experience ” show you how to hold yourself accountable, whatever your role in business; entrepreneur, employee or owner. You can read the book back and forth, or you can select the specific path you’re on and focus on that section.
No matter which path you choose to explore, expect to be uncomfortable. You might be uncomfortable because you are not used to seeing the word “Love” falling so freely in the workplace. Or, you might be uncomfortable because you will be dealing with how little “love” there is in your work environment.
Wherever you see yourself on the journey to a more humane workplace, you will discover ideas, strategies and ways to find your way into the world of work.