Carrick notes that isolation and loneliness have reached epidemic proportions — and social media isn’t helping. Workplaces must recognize the human need for social connection in their employees and foster a culture that caters to this need.
“People are what makes companies great,” Carrick says. “What companies need to focus on is how people thrive at work. This is essential. People are messy, so this is complex. We are not machines.”
In her book, Carrick identifies six points of focus leaders can use to enrich the work lives of employees day-to-day: culture, leadership, team, meaning, design, and partnership with machines, which encourages workers to bring their best selves to the job.
Because businesses are only as good as the people who work for them, Carrick emphasizes the importance of prioritizing their needs and ensuring they are motivated and passionate about the work they are doing. “Companies of the future are going to need to know what activates people at work,” she says.
Employees aren’t the only ones who need to care about their work on a deeper level. “There are other things that matter as well,” Carrick says. “Companies thinking deeply about why they exist. Profits can’t be our only north star.” In other words, in order for companies to truly inspire their employees, they need to have a mission and a motivation that employees can get behind. Workers are not motivated by a CEO’s bottom line, they are motivated by goals they care about.
“Organizations need to find their place in the world other than outputs. They need to do the right things in the communities they serve.”
Carrick advocates business leaders get advice from mentors and peers. An outsider often offers a new way of looking at things.
“Getting advice from others helps you take a look at your own business in a different light. Can really offer valuable insights to help solve the problems they need help solving,” Carrick explains. Particularly in cases of “people problems,” she says, leaders “need that outside perspective to be able to see what’s actually going on.”
Finally, Carrick stresses that leaders can come from anywhere, and workplaces in the United States could be hugely benefited by fresh talent. “We need braver leaders who are more self-aware and empathetic and more willing to dive into the difficult conversations when dealing with people.”
A happier workforce benefits everyone, from a CEO’s profit margins to an entry-level employee’s quality of live. Says Carrick, “When we thrive at work we thrive at home.”
Moe Carrick has made it her job to make everyone else’s job better.
“I have worked in places that were great and not great,” Carrick says in an interview, describing her job at a large corporation where she watched the clock every day. “I watched the minutes tick away and felt like work would never end. It felt so unrewarding. I felt lonely and isolated. I didn’t know I wasn’t the only person having this experience.”
Carrick points out people are spending more time at work than they are with family and friends, so they’re bringing basic human needs into the workplace.
“People need to feel needed and need to connect with others. Human connection is essential. People need to understand the why behind what they’re doing, need to feel like they’re making a difference to someone,” she says.
For more information, please visit www.moecarrick.com