The Revolution is Live… This is the closing lyric of the song, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” by Gil Scott-Heron written in 1971. The song/poem speaks to the transformation of America, through dismantling racism, capitalism and mainstream media by Blacks getting off the couch and taking to the streets to reclaim their humanity. Over the last 50 years, we have experienced a variety of social revolutions in the United States and perhaps the most recent revolution is in the workplace. As Ariana Huffington recently stated, “Welcome to the Human Revolution” She continues by acknowledging the truth that “life should be centered around our full humanity, which includes work but also includes nurturing our health and well-being, our relationships, our capacity for joy and wonder and for giving back.” The Pandemic has been the global disruptor for our generation in all aspects of our lives: personal, work and community. We have been experiencing dramatic shifts in the workforce over the last three years. The Great Resignation continues, the priorities of the current workforce are changing and employees are demanding changes that support their overall well-being. The Human Revolution is Live. In the article, What the Pandemic has taught us about prioritizing well-being, Julia Hobsbawm suggests that the old strategies used to address well-being considerations no longer serve the needs of employees. Covid-19 has forced organisations to dial back on pingpong tables, massages at your desk, to focus instead on strategy and specifically how you create an organisation where people feel valued, trusted, and you identify the problem areas, and how you correct them. The Human Revolution is Live. In a recent HBR article, Designing Work That People Love, Marcus Buckingham reinforces this strategy of downplaying the “trendy perks” and focusing on redesigning jobs around a simple and powerful concept: love for the work you do. What does love got to do with it? Actually, quite a lot. As we know from neuroscience research, when we engage in activities in which we experience love, hormones such as oxytocin and dopamine are activated to promote access to the prefrontal cortex of the brain where the executive functions of creativity, innovation, empathy and strategy reside. Research done regarding employee engagement shows that people who find love, strength, joy and excitement in what they do each day are far more likely to be productive, stay at companies longer and sustain themselves in the face of life’s inevitable challenges. Work hasn’t been working for us for awhile, the Pandemic just turned up the stress and cast a bright spotlight on what was broken, people hate their work. There are two aspects of fixing this problem. First, individuals need to have clarity about what they love and second, organizations need to see people as full human beings not workers. When those two elements are aligned we have thriving human beings and a prosperous economy. Designing the Life and Work You Want Over the last 12 years, I have coached people who were not happy in their jobs and didn’t know what they wanted to do next. I created an individual coaching program called the Personal Odyssey Tour that helps clarify your life purpose and uses design-thinking principles to identify the path toward the job or career that aligns with what you love. Stanford professors, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans published a fantastic resource, “Designing Your Life” back in 2016 and are soon to release a new book called, “Designing Your NEW Work Life” in response to the disruption that has been caused by the Pandemic. First you need clarity about what you love, what gives you energy, brings you joy and then you can go after it! As Buckingham suggests, a true Love + Work organization is built on a recognition of and commitment to the fundamental importance of each person who comes to work. Buckingham tosses out Milton Friendman’s model of shareholder capitalism, which focuses on maximizing shareholder value which has definitely been losing favor over the last 15 years. However, he takes it a step further and challenges the concept of stakeholder capitalism which is a pillar of the certified B Corp movement. Stakeholder capitalism introduces the construct that organizations should also maximize value to employees, customers, the broader community and the environment. Buckingham contends that employees are the integration point for all stakeholders rather than one of many. They are where the work actually happens. Organizations Investing in Human Sustainability Thrive What has also become clear throughout the Pandemic is that globally we are in a mental health crisis. Research conducted by Gallup in 2021 states that seven in 10 people are struggling with mental health issues. It has been known for decades that organizational productivity is tied to employee well-being. Yet, very little has changed. The Human Revolution is Live. Organizations that focus on the well-being of employees will lead us to the future of a prosperous, inclusive and regenerative economy. How do they do it? A few strategies proposed in Time to Invest in Human Sustainability and Designing Work That People Love include: Give employees control over when, where, and how work gets done. Create an environment that builds trust, creating a safe environment for open discourse on topics that matter whether it is DEI, mental health, climate change or organizational policies that impact overall well-being. Foster a culture that supports and encourages life-long learning, focuses on teams and the use of wellness resources (time off, tuition reimbursement, leave) Set goals for achieving workplace well-being—then aim to surpass them. It’s time for all of us to get off the couch, the human revolution is live.