Decades of research have shown that six human requirements must be optimally satisfied before people can be expected to intrinsically develop responsibility for and commitment to their tasks. These are the building blocks for designing tropophilic organizations and are at the heart of Participative Design, Employee Engagement, and a Culture of Trust, Transparency, and Integrity.
The first three requirements refer to the content of any job and are experienced differently from person to person. These first three criteria tend to be either too little (at lower levels) or too much (top management levels):
- Adequate responsibility and decision-making. The sense that the responsibility for the work done is with the one doing it and not above.
- Opportunity to learn continuously. Such learning is only possible when people are able to set goals that are reasonably challenging to them and get adequate feedback to learn and make corrections.
- Variety. People need adequate variety based on individual capabilities to avoid either boredom or fatigue.
The second three requirements relate to the social culture of the workplace and can never be too much:
- Mutual support and respect. Conditions that support common good over individual interest, getting help and respect from their coworkers; that don’t pit one against another.
- A sense that one’s own work meaningfully contributes to social welfare. This includes both the quality and the worth to society of the product/service, as well as the participant’s knowledge and understanding of the end use or purpose of the product or service.
- A desirable future. Put simply, a career path which will continue to allow for personal growth and increase in knowledge and skills.
You can waste valuable resources with “fun team-building games” that do nothing to change the organizational structure, or you can use those resources to change your organizational structure and watch your work culture flourish.
Team building is not about outdoor training but about organizational design and restructuring.
By restructuring the workplace based on Open Systems Design Principles, the six psychological criteria are met by default, thus achieving a positive directive correlation between the system effectivities and its environmental affordances, transforming rhetoric on responsibility into positive action.
The result is a culture of trust, transparency, and integrity. Thus, becoming Tropophilic organization!
JC Wandemberg Ph.D.
President & Founder
About the author: Dr. Wandemberg is an international consultant and stocks trader, keynote speaker, published author, professor, and analyst of economic, environmental, social, managerial, marketing, and political issues. For the past 30 years Dr. Wandemberg has collaborated with corporations, communities, and organizations to integrate sustainability through self-transformation processes and Open Systems Design Principles, thus, catalyzing a Culture of Trust, Transparency, and Integrity.