What is the best safe place to work

We spend most of our “waking” life in the workplace. It therefore seems obvious how important a livable job is. At the same time, it is surprising how many compromises many people make.

Learn from this article
  • what makes a job worth living,
  • how to find such a job and
  • what you can do as an employer to create attractive jobs, to attract the best employees and to survive in the competition.

In one Video At the end of the article, three people report how the change of job has had an impact.

1. Criteria for a good job

People are different. The ideas of what characterizes a good workplace differ accordingly. However, they are mostly the same criteria, just with different weightings. These criteria include [source]:

  • Job security
  • working climate
  • pay
  • Flexible working hours, compatibility with family and leisure time
  • Flat hierarchies, no dictatorial superiors
  • Exciting and meaningful tasks
  • Opportunity to learn; Further training and coaching offers
  • Promotion opportunities, "career", title
  • Proximity to your own apartment
  • Awareness and reputation of the company
  • Workplace equipment, work equipment

The weighting

  • differs between men and women,
  • depends on the current economic situation (e.g. job security is rated higher in times of economic crisis) and
  • changes over time. For example, employees are attaching increasing importance to meaningfulness, while the primary focus on pay is decreasing.

Workers should

  1. supplement and weight this list of criteria for yourself,
  2. then compare against the current workplace and
  3. act in the event of deviations: improve or change jobs.

2. Why a good job is so important

The companies have recognized it:

The shortage of skilled workers is [...] still the greatest risk for business development [...]. In the worst case, the companies cannot find a suitable candidate. With a view to demographic change, it is also foreseeable that the problems will likely worsen in the future. "

Source: Business Survey 2019 by the DIHK

Therefore, the “employer branding” and the quality of the workplaces determine how well companies succeed in attracting qualified workers.

However, the consequences of a bad job are more far-reaching:

  • Employee productivity drops
  • Sick leave increases
  • Fluctuation increases
  • Impetus for improvement dry up (> danger for companies)
  • Physical and psychological complaints are increasing (> danger for employees)

3. Create good workplaces

Step 1: Choose a systemic and systematic approach

Good jobs do not come about by chance. Nor should you (only) be the result of a "nice boss". Rather, workplaces that are worth living in are the result of a system.

Depending on the choice of this system, the above-mentioned “quality criteria” can be achieved better or worse, whereby some of these criteria are even excluded: An organization that is supposed to offer careers in the form of many advancement opportunities is difficult to achieve in a flat hierarchy.

Step 2: Define system requirements

There is no right or wrong system. But there are systems that help to attract and retain the people you want, and there are systems that don't.

When choosing its "operating system", the Johner Institute was guided by the following considerations:

  1. The system should be ideal for people of integrity who
    • the freedom and independent work love and don't want to be demotivated by incompetent bosses,
    • Feel joy Support customers,
    • Products and the company (help) shape want and for whom these creative opportunities are more important than careers,
    • learn continuously and want to develop and
    • to be ready, to take responsibility.
  2. In addition, the system should work fluidly and agile be able to deal with constantly changing framework conditions.
  3. The system must enable the Focus on the customer to lay. A system that promotes internal politics, meeting orgies, bureaucracy or “sawing yourself on your chair” would be exactly the opposite of what the Johner Institute needs.
  4. After all, the system must not reduce the people who work at the Johner Institute to their role as workers. Most of the employees are also parents, children, club colleagues, patients, political activists, etc.
  5. Because the Johner Institute wants to submit to the same regulations as its customers, the system must be sufficient structure for certification according to ISO 13485.

Step 3: Select a suitable "operating system"

An operating system must meet the requirements mentioned. For example, the above-mentioned requirements exclude many organizational forms and management models such as classic hierarchical organizations, matrix organizations or a network of freelancers.

The Johner Institute chose the holocracy. This system

  • helps to avoid bureaucracy and accelerate decision-making processes.
  • counteracts every form of "bossing",
  • creates transparency and clear responsibilities and
  • decentralized decisions, gives employees freedom and design options, enables them to work independently and easily initiate changes and improvements.

Step 4: Enjoy the results

A system is only as good as it is understood, lived and continuously improved. The Johner Institute has been following this path of continuous learning and improvement for years. The results are impressive after just a few years:

  • The number of experts that the Johner Institute has been able to attract and retain has increased tenfold in the last five years.
  • The organization coped with this growth without significant "growing pains" and created structures in the form of a very successfully certified quality management system.
  • Countless products have emerged and customer feedback has been overwhelming.
  • The corporate culture, the team atmosphere, the appreciative and supportive cooperation in daily cooperation and the value orientation are outstanding, if not unique.

In the following video, three colleagues report on their work at the Johner Institute.

4. Importance of a good job: conclusion

As much as employers don't like to hear it, times for well-trained employees have rarely been as good as they are today. The shortage of skilled workers means that employees increasingly have the choice of which employer suits them.

The decisive factor in attracting and retaining experts is the quality of the jobs. However, this does not arise (alone) through a table football or a team building event. What is needed are new forms of collaboration. Good, livable jobs require a paradigm and system change.

However, this applies to both sides. More freedom of decision and design also means a rethink among employees. Freedom requires courage, commitment and the willingness to take on responsibility. Because new "operating systems" should not serve the convenience, but promote the competitiveness of the company.

In other words: many employers need rethinking and a system change just as urgently as they do employees.