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Researchers Outline Six Virtues of the Best Workplace on Earth

Sure, there are surveys about the best companies to work for but how about the best workplace on the planet? This month’s issue of Harvard Business Review revealed research conducted by Rob Goffee of London Business School and Gareth Jones of IE Business School.

They asked executives if they could design the best company on earth to work for, what would it be like? Results showed six virtues of dream companies:

  • You can be yourself.
  • You’re told what’s really going on.
  • Your strengths are magnified.
  • The company stands for something meaningful.
  • Your daily work is rewarding.
  • Stupid rules don’t exist.

In the piece, the authors wrote:

“People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, something they can believe in. ‘I’ve worked in organizations where people try to brainwash me about the virtues of the brand,’ one seminar participant told us. ‘I want to work in an organization where I can really feel where the company comes from and what it stands for so that I can live the brand.’

It has become commonplace to assert that organizations need shared meaning, and this is surely so. But shared meaning is about more than fulfilling your mission statement—it’s about forging and maintaining powerful connections between personal and organizational values. When you do that, you foster individuality and a strong culture at the same time.”

Researchers pointed out that “few, if any, organizations possess all six virtues.” Some are costly and complicated and others conflict with each other.

They added, “Almost all require leaders to carefully balance competing interests and to rethink how they allocate their time and attention. So the company of your dreams remains largely aspirational. We offer our findings, therefore, as a challenge: an agenda for leaders and organizations that aim to create the most productive and rewarding working environment possible.”

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