Learning about the high cost of fear and the benefits of love. 

A Human Workplace is based on primary research to understand and gain insights into how we can make workplaces more human. This qualitative research began with a series of 50 interviews conducted by Renée Smith, Founder of A Human Workplace and Director of Workplace Transformation at Results Washington. We continue to expand this research and add insights to this body of work to better understand and explore different aspects of fear and love in the workplace.

Smith states about the beginning of this research: “This started out with curiosity about how people experience fear and love at work. People’s stories are full of insights so I started talking to people informally.  At first, I chatted with friends at dinner and people on the bus. I talked to colleagues over coffee. Everyone had a story and wanted to share theirs. My first formal interview was on Valentine's Day 2017.  <3  No kidding. Since then I've gathered more than 50 stories through interviews and research workshops. The content of those stories was analyzed, and I discovered five types of fear stories, one healthy and four toxic, and three types of love stories. Those insights are described in the Keynote Talk: Make Work More Human. They form the foundation for A Human Workplace and all the subsequent organizational insights, conversations and offerings.”

If you are interested in participating in the research as an investigator or as a participant, contact us for more information at renee@makeworkmorehuman.com

ONE ON ONE INTERVIEWS

One on one interviews take about an hour and can be in person or over the phone. There are two basic prompts:

1. Share a story about a time when you experienced fear at work. Fear might mean feeling threatened, anxious, terrified, harassed, worried or other similar feelings.

What happened? What did you do? What did others do? How did this impact you? Your team? Your organization? Your customer? Your work? Your home-life? Your physical body? What did this mean to you?

2. Share a story about a time when you felt loved at work. Love might mean care, acceptance, respect, belonging, trust, or other similar feelings. 

What happened? What did you do? What did others do? How did this impact you? Your team? Your organization? Your customer? Your work? Your home-life? Your physical body? What did this mean to you?

Fear and love Research workshops

The concept is simple: Gather a diverse group of 6-8 people for one day to share stories of fear and love. Begin by building trust and connection. Create safety and agreements about confidentiality. Then pair participants up and guide them to explore their stories of fear in the morning, and love in the afternoon (because love should be in the afternoon, right?) We listen, value, empathize, and reflect. Then the group discusses insights and so better understands fear and love at work. These insights contribute to the body of knowledge on fear and love at work.

What is clear

Fear at work takes a terrible toll on individuals, teams, organizations, and on families too. Work suffers. Relationships suffer. Health suffers. People withdraw, withhold, and leave. Everyone loses when fear is allowed to fester, or worse, when fear is intentionally used as a management tool. 

Love at work, on the other hand, supports and unleashes human potential. When people feel loved by a leader, by their team, or by an organization, they report being happier, healthier, and more energetic. They want to be at work. They innovate. They create. They take risks, try out new ideas, and discover solutions. They give their all. Customers are satisfied. Teams and organizations flourish. This is the power of love in the workplace.


Love and Fear Story Portal: Share your story of fear or love at work.

If you would like to share your story of a time when you felt afraid at work or felt loved at work, share it here. The purpose of gathering stories is to illuminate the impacts of fear or of love on individuals, teams, organizations and those they serve.

Here are our mutual commitments:

  1. Your story will become part of the growing collection of stories contributing insights about how to make work more human and why it is so important.

  2. By submitting your story here you verify that your story is true and accurate to the best of your recollection, acknowledging that it is from your perspective.

  3. By submitting your story here you agree that your story may be shared without attribution and anonymously in whole or in part on a blog, talk, article, as other web content, or some other format.

  4. We promise that we will never identify you by name and will keep your story anonymous.

  5. Any retelling of all or part of your story will be done with accuracy to your submission, and done for the purpose of helping teach and advocate for more human ways of working and leading.

Here are some guidelines for your submission:

  1. Please only share your own story not someone else’s story.

  2. Describe your experience in your own words and as candidly and accurately as possible following the simple prompts below.

  3. Please don’t name the organization, but rather cite the organization by general type, for example, a financial institution, a grocery chain, a government agency, etc.

  4. Similarly, please don’t use full names to describe others in the story, but use first names and roles only. Consider using pseudonyms.

  5. Be sure to include your contact information below. You may be contacted if there are clarifying questions.

People find the telling of their stories is cathartic and helpful. We welcome your sharing and hope that this is a helpful and positive experience for you. Please contact us if you have questions or comments at renee@makeworkmorehuman.com.

Name *
Name
Tell about a time when you felt afraid at work. What happened? What did you do? What did others do? What was the impact of that experience on you, on your work, on your team, on your organization, on your customer or results? How did this fear experience impact your personal life and your body? What did having this experience mean to you? Please try to limit this to 500 words.
Tell about a time when you felt loved at work. What happened? What did you do and what did others do? What was the impact of that loving experience on you, on your work, on your team, on your organization, on your customer or results? And how did that love experience impact your physical well-being or your personal life? What did having this experience mean to you? Please try to limit your story to 500 words.