Where a growing circle of business leaders comes to share, learn, and inspire organizations to put people first

Whirling Chief
Nº 102

Our People Practices are Desperately Seeking Science

At Whirling Chief, we are on a mission to further humanize the global workplace.

Sounds crazy, right?! I know it does… ☺
Our vision is fuelled by the belief that traditional ways of working are long gone. Instead, we desire to explore new and revolutionary business and human resources practices, in all their richness and depth, as they may best fit into our complex and dynamic 21st century lives. We want to bring meaning, wisdom, and humanity into workplaces and workplace practices, so more of us around the globe can live up to and realize our full potential.

Why? Because so many of us continue to ‘suffer’ at work.

When I left my corporate position in 2014, I informally started studying people’s work experiences. The results were just awful. 1 out of 3 people I spoke with wanted to leave their jobs to go after their ‘true’ desire, whether or not they knew what that was… I was shocked. Looking across global studies way bigger than mine, here are the statistics I found:

  • Conference Board reports ~48% of people feeling ‘unsatisfied’ at work.
  • Gallup reports ~32% of US workers are engaged vs. ~13% of global workforce.
  • NIOSH reports 40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful and job stress is more strongly associated with health complaints than financial or family problems.
  • American Workplace VII reports 25% have felt like screaming or shouting because of job stress, 10% are concerned about an individual at work they fear could become violent.
  • BLS reports 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers.
  • WEF reports the gaps between women and men on economic participation and political empowerment remain wide, with the economic participation gap closing by 59% and projected to close entirely by 2186.
  • SHRM reports respectful treatment of all employees at all levels was rated as very important by 67% of employees in 2015.

How does that feel?

Well, it felt to me like we needed to do something about it. Think of how many hours we collectively spend at work and this is how we feel about it???

At Whirling Chief, we want to stop the agony. We like to picture a work experience where more of us:

  • Understand and acknowledge our humanity: the physiology and psychology of human beings
  • Have the necessary skills to continuously develop self-awareness, self-affirmation and self-control
  • Understand industrial and organizational psychology, to become productive members of organizations and to contribute in meaningful ways
  • Adopt and utilize people practices that are better suited for the human self, motivation, and productivity, and in alignment with today’s realities (i.e., technology, data management)
  • Lead by example
  • Live healthier and happier lives 

And for this we need to bridge together human experience and science. We need to work with our community to understand their experiences, partner up with academia to study it further, and then to later turn findings into applicable business practices for corporations to adapt.

That’s what we’re after these days. What say you?


  • 10 April 2017

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