Summary of Bring Your Human to Work

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  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples
  • Inspiring


A values-based corporate culture that attends to the human needs of its employees gives your firm an advantage in today’s world where good people are hard to keep. Consultant and Spaghetti Project founder Erica Keswin’s 10 “surefire” ideas for designing a workplace that works are pure common sense. Your employees want a comfortable environment, flexible schedules, work-life balance and inspiring leaders. Millennials and Gen Z employees, in particular, Keswin says, expect corporate responsibility, sustainable practices and professional development. Even big firms can incorporate these strategies, as many have done for decades. Keswin demonstrates how companies that invest in strong values can validate their employees and gain great retention and a stronger bottom line.

About the Author

Consultant, recruiter and strategist Erica Keswin contributes to Forbes, the Harvard Business ReviewEntrepreneur and the Quartz at Work website. She founded the Spaghetti Project, “a platform devoted to sharing the science and stories of human connections with global brands, communities, teams, and individuals,” based on the idea that people who have a meal together form closer bonds.



Achieving a Human-Centered Work Culture

To meet employees’ increasing quest for a purposeful workplace, a company must base its culture on well-defined, vigorous, durable values that infuse and honor every relationship. To create this kind of workplace, choose from 10 strategies that support a meaningful, values-based culture: 

1. “Be Real: Speak in a Human Voice”

Your employees and consumers seek authenticity, which derives from values. Choose touchstones that best reflect your company’s goals, and align those values with every aspect of your business. Pick four to six memorable values that resonate with your employees. For example, JetBlue airline has five values – “safety, integrity, caring, passion” and “fun” – that form a web of meaningful relationships among its staff and customers. Your company’s values are the voice that tells its story. Make your voice consistent and easy to understand. Real stories resonate with your clients and workers, who are your brand ambassadors. Don’t give staff members scripts. Instead, give them education...

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