Build an Inclusive Workplace Experience: Consider the Human Factor

By Stephanie Patek, Director of Wellness at AllOne Health

When it comes to happiness at work, it is understandable that if our basic needs are met and the following components are all present, we will be truly happy: pay is fair, “normal” working hours, inclusion among our coworkers, pleasant working environment, reasonable job expectations, opportunity for enhancement and effective use of our skills.

But how significant is the “human factor?” Perhaps it is more important than you realize. In The Art of Happiness at Work, by the Dalai Lama and Dr. Howard C. Cutler, this concept was discussed in great detail. It was clear from the Dalai Lama’s reasoning that human interaction is critical for happiness, and that having a well-paid position in solitude may not be as ideal as one may initially think.

When considering what one personality brings to the workplace, think of how one excited new hire, one trusted long-timer, or one frustrated work colleague can change how you view your work. One negative attitude can cause a wave of bitterness, entitlement, or fear. One positive attitude can create overall compassion, motivation and a supportive environment within a group.

Thus, try the following this week:

  • Introduce yourself to someone in your organization you haven’t formally met
  • Ask with interest about someone else’s work project
  • Invite a colleague to a virtual meet and greet
  • Pay tribute to someone for an effort that’s gone unrecognized
  • Give a compliment

You may be directly impacting someone’s happiness at work, and helping to build a culture of inclusion. Thus, be aware of your actions and appreciate what the human factor brings!