More than ever, employers are finding that employees perform best when they can be their "whole selves" at the workplace. Yet today, one-third of employees still feel that their employer doesn’t encourage them to be themselves — a significant barrier to worker satisfaction. One way organizations are addressing this challenge is through their approach to the key moments of meaning that arise when work and life overlap. How employers support these meaningful moments with employees is a critical stepping stone to creating a more inclusive and satisfying workplace experience for everyone.
For starters, the geneses of these meaningful moments lie beyond the workplace, and vary by individual. In general terms, these moments of meaning fall into three categories: Family Moments, Cultural Moments, and Personal Passion Moments.
With respect to Family Moments, employers can demonstrate a more human workplace by acknowledging how the definitions of family have changed. From offering paternity leave to allotting bereavement time for the death of a beloved pet, showing more flexibility around the definition of “family” creates an opening for employees to express a wider range of their personalities on the job.
When it comes to Cultural Moments, employers have an opportunity to create a more human workplace through their openness to a wide range of traditions, faiths, and social needs. From providing private facilities for staff to pray or meditate to offering a day off on Election Day, employers can show their support for a wide range of cultural practices that go beyond the workplace.
Lastly, Personal Passion Moments are opportunities for employers to invite employees to share their outside passions with their workplace colleagues. Creating an annual staff talent show, potluck, or community voluntary day are ways to invite workers to express their personal passions at the workplace. Each creates pathways for individuals to express their personal passions, and be acknowledged more fully by their colleagues.
The better equipped workplaces are to accommodate varied moments of meaning, the more willing employees will be to bring their full selves to work. Embracing these approaches and practices can help transform each of these categories of moments into an opportunity to strengthen the bond between workers, their colleagues, and their workplace.