March 11, 2022
Coral has appreciated the opportunity to consult various workplaces looking for a new way of looking at mistakes. She has discovered a continuous improvement mindset has built up her resilience and helped her to be better able to overcome problems and use them to improve her approaches to workplace improvement, communication, and project management.
She has developed a Continuous Improvement Opportunity Form that can assist managers who find it challenging to improve a process without the facts. Click here to download
Coral Doherty, RVT
Health and Safety Advisor
World Happiness Day, Mar 20, 2022, considers the effect of COVID19 on happiness, mental health, social connections, and the workplace. The Happiness Report takes into consideration the dynamics between Utopia and Dystopia.
Managers of 2022 workplaces have levelled up their skill set to include psychological health and safety. Good mental health at work doesn't just happen by itself. Or could it?
Utopia vs. Dystopia
The World Happiness Report looks at Utopia vs. Dystopia. Utopia was first conceptualized by Sir Thomas Moore. In a nutshell, it is a society that provides for the safety and welfare of all its people in a peaceful manner and is controlled by its members. Government rules, orders, and penalties don’t need to exist because they are not needed.
People who live and work in Utopia are happy, satisfied, fulfilled, morally aligned, and motivated to do what they love. Care, love, and kindness towards one another are naturally connected qualities. In their heart, soul, and mind, they know they are there for each other and easily work towards a common goal… trustfully. Dare I imagine that mistakes are not taken as moments of revel. Mistakes are unintentional results of a chain of events or an undesired outcome of chance.
In Utopia, mistakes are golden opportunities for continuous improvements. Chance doesn’t gain a foothold. Mistakes become opportunities of chance where future risks are discovered and controlled or eliminated. Mistakes are not feared in Utopia. In Utopia, the human spirit is etched in kindness, resilience, and a continuous improvement mindset.
In contrast, Dystopia is described as a place where people are the least happy. Lowest incomes, lowest life expectancy, lowest generosity, moral corruption, least freedom, and least social support. Here, mistakes feel like an enormous consequence of chance. Shame and guilt are worn like a ball and chain on the hearts of those who have become victims of chance. The people who are victims of chance live in the moment. Without continuous improvement, mistakes are never useful and always costly. Mistakes come at a cost to quality.
Mistakes carry shame and guilt in Dystopia. Strong emotions take a foothold in the hearts of the people in Dystopia. Moral corruption means that mistakes are opportunities to offload small portions of shame and guilt on others around them. This makes them feel better for a short time. Heavy hearts full of shame, guilt, and blame look for mistakes like golden opportunities for momentary ease of their shackles. They don’t feel so alone when they can gain a foothold on innocent, unchanged hearts. A small voice inside says, “Can I ever feel that free again?”.
Implement an Utopian Workplace Culture
What if we could, as leaders of workplace wellness, decide to implement a Utopian workplace culture? What would it be called? What might it look like to a manager? How would it feel for employees to work here?
How does it feel to work on the Starship Enterprise? I know you’re saying to yourself, “This is a stretch of the imagination….” Bear with me here; remember how The Federation called itself a Utopia? Their motto was “blah blah blah” - something about space, and the part I remember is “to boldly go where no one has gone before.”
The greatest thing about “boldly going where no one has gone before” is the journey itself, not the destination! Each episode of Star Trek has moments where the journey takes an unexpected and unplanned detour. But, that didn’t stop them from going on their next trip into unknown space galaxies. They continued with the next adventure!
This March 20th could be the beginning of your journey towards continuous improvement thinking. Consider what future opportunities are in the mistakes you encounter and boldly go towards workplace happiness in your future.