Book Review by Taylor Berrett
The idea that employees should be treated like human beings doesn’t seem particularly revolutionary today, but the truth is that companies focusing on the rights and wellbeing of workers is a relatively new trend from a historical perspective.
In their book, Making Work Human, authors Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine outline how lingering ‘profits-over-everything’ mindsets in businesses are making their employees miserable— and negatively affecting companies along the way.
Mosley is well-equipped to confront this problem— he’s the founder of Workhuman, a firm designed to help businesses recognize that their companies don’t feature people, their companies are people. Through Making Work Human, Mosley leverages powerfully compelling data and anecdotes to show why the employee-centric revolution is so important and timely.
Workhuman: The Concept at the Center of It All
At the core of Making Work Human is the Workhuman framework, developed by the author into a consultancy that claims to help companies around the world shift the focus of their workplace to their employees. Their success is compelling— countless companies and brands have seen dramatic shifts in their culture for the better.
At the core of Workhuman is a set of rights, outlined and expanded on within the book. They are:
- I have the right to do meaningful work
- I have the right to be appreciated
- I have the right to work-life harmony.
- I have the right to belong.
- I have the right to grow.
- I have the right to be paid fairly.
- I have the right to privacy.
- I have the right to feel safe and respected.
- I have the right to work in a place that strives to protect the environment.
In Making Work Human, these rights are discussed in-depth— and Mosley makes a powerful case for how each one is an essential aspect of a company’s commitment to their employees’ wellbeing and work life.
The Bottom Line Isn’t the Bottom Line
One of the most compelling aspects of Making Work Human is that it takes a decidedly humanistic approach— not surprising, given the title of the book. But many business books and think pieces that focus on the importance of employee satisfaction and workplace satisfaction come from an emphasis on how this affects a company’s success. “Making your employees happy results in X, Y, and Z benefits to your bottom line.”
But the authors put forward a slightly different idea, one that’s quietly revolutionary— that treating your employees like human beings is important irrespective of its effect on your financial goals. It’s simply the right thing to do, and all leaders have a responsibility to commit resources and attention to their employees’ wellness.
Yet, while Making Work Human doesn’t focus its attention too heavily on business results, it also doesn’t hide from what the data shows— happier, healthier, and more respected employees make businesses more successful in the long run.
It turns out that making work human makes work more successful, too.