Management 3.0: Happiness Therapy
16 Jul, 2019
To be always cooler and keep their talents longer, some companies are trying new things, welcome to management 3.0.
“Open space”, a concept created in the 1950s, and which today represents 34% of workspaces in France (according to the Actineo barometer), is the first symbol of a managerial “revolution” in which the country’s various companies have embarked since the 1980s.
Rather criticized by public opinion, its defenders highlight the formation of stronger social ties, better information exchanges, more accessible managers, more apparent equal pay and better team cohesion.
On the employee side, they often highlight the impression of being under the supervision of their colleagues, and complain about the noise imposed on them. Not as positive as on paper….
Echoing this, researchers Stephen Turban, and Ethan Bernstein of Harvard Business School, observe in a recent study, that despite the reduction of partitions, open space would reduce the level of face-to-face discussion by 73% and would increase the number of emails sent instead by 67%. This new office layout, which was intended to bring together and facilitate the connection between employees, finally gives the opposite impression, that of isolating and sometimes deteriorating working conditions. Despite these shortcomings, open space has played the role of the first major transformation of the world of work, and opened the way to dozens of other attempts and innovations. Successfully or unsuccessfully.
A small round table discussion therefore, of the latest managerial innovations that some do not hesitate to put under the umbrella of the same name: management 3.0.
Sit there if you can.
Flex Office is the little brother of open space and a logical continuation. It consists of the absence of a predefined office at the workplace.
In other words, when they arrive, employees sit wherever they want, each place being free to accommodate any of them. A way of sharing all the spaces and furniture between the people who thus appropriate all the company’s assets, and of breaking a hierarchy often represented by the positioning of people. If the intention is as laudable as the open space – to make the company flat and open, as well as to gain a few beneficial square metres – the employees’ conclusions are less positive. According to a study by Opinion Way, 68% of French people are against this new system, evoking in turn the feeling of losing their place in the box, a dehumanization of the company, the feeling of being an interchangeable bolt, and the fatigue of war between employees to have the best place at the opening of the premises.
Finally, the picture of Darth Vader taped to the wall and the little cactus on the corner of the desk, it doesn’t look like much but it makes the difference.
Unlimited leave of absence
A dream for many: to have an unlimited vacation.
Leaving whenever you want, and for as long as you wish, is like a myth when you are an employee. And yet, the idea spread in the 2000s in Silicon Valley, and is gradually landing in France. So maybe the dream is within reach?
According to a study conducted by the job search site Joblift, offers offering unlimited leave increased by 60% last year. Bad tongues quickly rose to the occasion: the excessive absenteeism of employees due to their unlimited holidays would sink the boxes.
Oh, really? No. In reality, the opposite has happened, with employees who are free to determine their period and duration of leave tending to take less than the norm. “When leave is at the employee’s free initiative, he or she does not take it. He tends to do too much when he doesn’t have a legal framework for protection” says Lætitia Vitaud, content manager at WillBe Group and specialist in questions about the future of work and management for Le Figaro.
Running away on holiday as little as possible can be seen by some as proof of attachment to the box, and a greater motivation than his classmates who, for their part, do not hesitate to sunbathe the pill. Disconnecting with the company and its work then becomes a source of guilt. Finally our 5 weeks… not so bad, no?
The right ton disconnect
With 4G present almost everywhere today, and the ability to be reachable and work almost anywhere, the line between private and professional life has become blurred.
In 2017, France was the first country to incorporate this right into its legislation with the Labour Law, and some boxes have since caught the moving train. At Michelin, for example, automatic monitoring of connections to the server outside working hours is carried out. More than five connections per month between 9pm and 7am or on weekends, a meeting is organised between the employee and his manager to discuss the matter. The same is true for Lidl, in Belgium, where email traffic is suspended in the evenings and on weekends. Any mail sent at sunset will be received the next morning.
A nice approach because for Bruno Henri, a lawyer specialized in labour law, “employees need to find material constraints so that there is no guilt, and to avoid situations of internal rivalry that will cause some to respect the rule and others who will not respect it”. Not really surprising, since according to a survey carried out in 2018 by the Ugict-CGT union and the Sécafi firm, only 25% of managers actually disconnect during weekends and holidays. It’s time to go to bed, put down that Jean Michel smartphone.
A new form of management, benevolent management is defined as a method based on the desire not to push or push them, but on the contrary to encourage them in their efforts and be tolerant with their mistakes.
The idea is to make the visit to the office a pleasant one. If the benevolent manager were to be defined, it would be the one who does not impose important meetings at 9am or 7pm, who encourages telework if it is required, who does not spend his free time “flipping” your results, who takes into account that an effort does not necessarily translate into quantified results, and who values you with positive feedback when your work is well done.
Obviously, the managerial logic in this is not to be “benevolent” for the beauty of the gesture. A happy employee is an effective employee in the office. So more productivity and less absenteeism. From the win-win, we can only validate!
As you will have understood, making an employee happy is not easy and managerial revolutions are sometimes sexier on paper than in real life. What we are sure of, however, is that the test & learn has a bright future ahead of it… It is 6pm, your day has been beautiful and productive! Incredible work! BRAVO! See you tomorrow (unless you are on vacation for an indefinite period of time and in that case I will take your place next to the window on the courtyard)!
Journal Du Net