What Women (And Men) Really Want at Work

 / 

, ,
Women Men Want at Work

Most companies I work with have two big concerns that occupy a lot of thought and resources:  how to retain top talent and how to facilitate a multi-generational workplace. Read on to know what women (and men) really want at work.

As such, I was excited to stumble upon a report by the International Consortium for Executive Development Research (“ICEDR”) setting forth five key themes high-achieving women Millennials cited as critical ingredients to support their success at work (1). 

The five themes are as follows:

1.  “Know Me:” Invest the time to understand me as a person and what interests me both inside and outside of work

2.  “Challenge Me:” I want to have continued opportunities to learn and grow

3.  “Connect Me:” Relationships are important – I want to interact and collaborate with a wide network of people

4.  “Inspire Me:” I want to derive a sense of meaning from my work

5.  “Unleash Me:” I want to take good risks and have autonomy over my time and projects.

While women and Millennials do face challenges in the workplace, addressing them is easier than companies think because when it comes to thriving at work, one size does in fact fit all.  As the research shows, there is no “framework for women” and no “model for Millennials.” 

Read 10 Tips For Dealing With Negative Energies At Work

The same ingredients that build thriving and success for a male Baby Boomer also build thriving and success for a female Millennial.  And if that’s the case, organizations should focus on these same core elements for all of their workers. This post will help you understand what women and men really want at work.

Here are three workplace well-being strategies that will help your entire organization:

1. Develop a giver reciprocity style. 

One of the consistent themes in every model of leadership and well-being is having good relationships, and your success depends on how you approach interactions with other people.  At work, people differ in their preferences for reciprocity – their preferred mix of giving and taking. 

According to Wharton professor Adam Grant, takers like to get more than they give, givers are other-focused and prefer to pay attention to what other people need from them, and matchers are a blend, wanting an equal balance between giving and taking. 

Another benefit of being a giver has to do with meaningfulness.  One study showed that being a giver was positively related to meaningfulness, but being a taker was negatively related to it (2). 

Read How To Be Happier With Work

2. Maximize your decision points. 

Energy management is another important component of thriving and is included in McKinsey’s well-being framework (3) and is a central feature in Tom Rath’s “fully charged” model (4).  In our culture of busyness addiction, it’s easy to get swept away by your day and before you know it, it’s 6pm and time to go home.

The trick to feeling more in control of your time is to maximize your decision points – those moments when a task ends or is interrupted.  In an effort to test this out, I kept track of the number of decision points I had in one day, and the answer stunned me. 

On this particular day, I had eight different moments where a task ended, and I decided to be intentional about what to do next (rather than check my Fantasy Football updates on a whim).  Even if you only have one or two decision points during a day, make your decision count. 

Read 3 Tips To Create Conversations That Are Worth Having In Your Workplace

In order to maximize your decision points, do these three things (5):

1.  Savor each decision point (be mindful of when you’re experiencing a decision point and grab it).
2.  Plan your decision points in advance (look at your calendar – if you know one meeting ends at 10am and the next one isn’t until 11am, decide ahead of time how you’re going to spend that hour).
3.  Don’t start a new task without consciously deciding it’s the right task to do (take a tactical pause before jumping into the next task).   

3. Watch your high-intensity positive emotions.  

Positive emotions are a central component of Dr. Martin Seligman’s PERMA model of well-being (6), and decades of research show that positive emotions help you build your creativity, remember more information, lower your blood pressure, build your resilience, help you recover more quickly from the stress response, and make you more pro-social (factors which tie to many of the themes in the frameworks above) (7). 

Read 14 Proven Ways To Stop Working Around The Clock

Yet, not all positive emotions are created (or valued) equally.  In a series of studies (8), researchers found that Westerners, and Americans in particular, value high-intensity positive emotions like excitement and elation and also value high-intensity positive emotions more than low-intensity positive emotions (like calm and serenity) when seeking to influence others (9).  

positive all the time

As it turns out, high-intensity positive emotions activate your stress response in the same way that high-intensity negative emotions do.  Those work messages about staying “fired up” or “pumped up” may actually turn out to deplete your energy by ramping up your stress response (10).   

It’s no secret that generational differences exist in the workplace, but when it comes to the well-being of workers, companies can safely bet that one size does fit all.


References
(1) The ICEDR Report can be downloaded here:  http://www.icedr.org/research/documents/15_millennial_women.pdf
(2)  One study (under giver reciprocity style):  http://scottbarrykaufman.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Baumeister-et-al...
(3)  Here is a link to the McKinsey & Company centered leadership model: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/leading_in_the_21st_century/centered_le...
(4)  Rath, T. (2015).  Are You Fully Charged?  Silicon Guild.
(5)  Davis, J. (2015).  Two Awesome Hours.  New York: HarperOne.
(6)  You can learn more about the PERMA model of well-being here:  https://ppc.sas.upenn.edu/learn-more/perma-theory-well-being-and-perma-workshops
(7)  Tugade, M.M., Fredrickson, B.L., & Barrett, L. F. (2004).  Psychological resilience and positive emotional granularity, 72(6) Journal of Personality 1161-1190.
(8)  Tsai, J.L., et al. (2007).  Influence and adjustment goals: sources of cultural differences in ideal affect.  92(6) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 1102-1117.
(9)  Tsai, J.L., Knutson, B., & Fung, H.H. (2006).  Cultural variation in affect variation.  90(2) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 288-307.
(10)  Seppala, E. (2016).  The Happiness Track.  New York: HarperOne.

Written by: Paula Davis, J.D., M.A.P.P
Download her ebook Beating Burnout at Work: Why Teams Hold the Secret to Well-Being & Resilience.
Originally appeared on Psychology Today
Republished with permission.
Women Men Want at Work pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

How The ‘Cool Girl’ Trope Sets Unrealistic Standards For Young Women

Cool Girl Trope: Ways To Overcome This Toxic Culture

In the realm of pop culture, the cool girl trope is often seen as a glamorous and idealized version of femininity. Let’s take a look at how it creates an impossible standard for women!

However, there are some hidden agendas behind this archetype. It sets unrealistic expectations for women, distorting reality. Today we’re going to look into what the cool girl trope entails, how it affects women, and analyze examples from movies and TV shows.

What Is The Cool Girl Trope?

The cool girl trope is all about creating a laid-back woman who possesses all the “masculine” traits but still manages to maintain her beauty and sex appeal.

She loves sports



Up Next

Dating A Feminist 101: 8 Tips On How To Date A Feminist And Cultivate A Relationship Grounded In Respect

Tips for Dating a Feminist and Embracing Gender Equality

Are you curious about what dating a feminist feels like? Perhaps you’ve met someone who proudly identifies as a feminist, and you want to understand their perspective better. 

Today, we will delve into the world of dating a feminist, exploring what is feminism, what a feminist relationship entails, and providing practical tips on how to date a feminist to foster a healthy and fulfilling connection. 

So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s embark on a journey of understanding, respect, and equality.

What is Feminism?

Before we dive into the intricacies of dating a feminist, let’s take a mo



Up Next

Women In Science: 7 Famous Female Scientists Who Redefine History

Famous Female Scientists Who Redefine History

Throughout history, women have been overshadowed by men. But behind the breakthroughs and innovations, there is a group of incredible and famous female scientists that has left their mark on the scientific world.

When was the last time you were asked to name a great scientist? Chances are, the likes of Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein popped into your head and for good reason — they made groundbreaking discoveries.

But if you’re like most people, men are probably all that comes to mind when thinking of great scientists. That’s because many famous women scientists have been left o



Up Next

Awe-Inspiring Female Lead Characters — 11 Fierce Movies Where Women Defy Expectations

Best Movies With Female Lead Characters Who Inspire Us

In a world where perception and aspirations are rooted in stories, here are the best movies with female lead characters that tell the tale of strong, independent female protagonists who inspire us.

Determination takes on new meaning, and courage is given another light to shine from. The strong female leads in these 11 movies come from all walks of life — be it high fashion, intergalactic battles, or magical realms — their worlds deserve exploration because they teach audiences of all ages such valuable lessons.

So this International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate the best movies wit



Up Next

10 Intriguing Psychological Facts About Women In Love

Women In Love: Intriguing Psychological Facts

That fluttery feeling in your stomach isn’t just about butterflies. Women experience a complex interplay of brain chemicals such as dopamine, oxytocin, and norepinephrine, which contribute to feelings of bliss, deep attachment, and intense focus on their partners.

Understanding women when they’re in love can be challenging and might leave you puzzled. Dealing with the psychology behind women in love involves navigating deep emotions, attachment styles, and cognitive processes, offering valuable insights into the workings of her mind and heart — a subject that has captivated poets, artists, and philosophers for centuries and remains as mysterious as ever.

We’ll explore 10 fascinating psychological facts about women in love. Who knows, you might uncover something that changes your perception of romance forever.



Up Next

Imposter Syndrome in Women: Understanding Root Causes and Tips To Overcome

Imposter Syndrome in Women: Tips To Know Your Self Worth

Ever felt that despite your achievements, you are nothing but a failure? Do you believe you are not good enough? Do you constantly doubt yourself and fear being exposed as a fraud? Imposter syndrome in women can be a devastating psychological experience that can keep you from being happy and successful in life. 

Today, let us delve into the topic of women and imposter syndrome and explore what imposter syndrome is, causes of imposter syndrome, how imposter syndrome affects women and what you can do to overcome it.

What Is Imposter Syndrome?



Up Next

Women with Daddy Issues: 3 Identifying Signs and Proven Strategies for Healing

Subtle Signs of Women With Daddy Issues and How To Deal

Are you dating a woman who seeks a lot of attention and validation all the time? Do they struggle with poor self-esteem? Is it difficult to form a secure and healthy attachment with her? Then she just might be struggling with daddy issues. Let us understand the psychology of women with daddy issues.

And the best way to do that is to explore what it actually means, identifying the signs of daddy issues in a woman and learning how to deal with daddy issues in a woman. This will enable you to help them heal and nurture a healthier relationship.

Understanding Daddy Issues

The term “da