Johan: Thanks you a lot for hosting this event here in Barcelona.
Giselle: My name is Giselle Timmerman. Today I am hosting a workshop on how to build a positive work culture and to be honest I didn’t even think there would be twenty companies that were interested in this topic. I mean we have a full house of 75 different people from across Barcelona so it’s definitely a topic that’s in high demand.
Johan: Yeah, it’s a hot topic and not surprisingly. Today it’s a very exploited work market so people have a lot of stress at their work places it becomes a major point to make it more positive.
Giselle: Absolutely. The fact of the matter is, we are not going to be working any less. So, it’s about how to work better and smarter and to help advance yourself both professionally and personally at work to do your best work.
Discovering Positive Work
Giselle: I was looking at how to help improve people’s work life so in 2005, there wasn’t a lot of research about this and I discovered that Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology was starting the very first Master’s program in the world at the university of Pennsylvania and so I applied and luckily I got in. So, I was in this very first class. One of the first 30 people in the world to be educated in this science and I can’t even tell you how much it’s grown in the past 10 years. This science of positive psychology. How to help employees engaged at work to essentially the science of happiness but really the research behind it that actually makes a difference in the work place is what I studied and what I have been doing for the past 10 years with organizations to really help them figure out what are the positive behaviors and practices that matter most in the workplace. To help get them most out of their talent. And it’s really win-win for the employee and employer. It’s not about sucking all the energy out. It’s about helping both. So, that’s why positive psychology is essentially the study of humans at their best and organization and communities at their best. So, if you want to get the best out of your employees at work. You should be interested in applying positive psychology.
Johan: Yeah, definitely.
Purpose of Positive Work
Johan: What can you tell us about the purpose of this workshop? You facilitated today, what do you want to bring….get out of this?
Giselle: So, quite honestly I am very frustrated when it comes to what I read about building a positive culture. 5 steps, 5 tips, have a game room or holiday parties or unlimited vacation.
Johan: Quick tips.
Giselle: Quick tips yeah and it really aggravates me because most of these tips are not research based and so I am not here to give 5 tips. I am here to give a framework that I have developed over the past 10 years that helps organizations to look at what are the behaviors that might matter most for my company. Because culture is not a cookie-cutter approach. It’s unique. Your culture is unique because it is unique to whom you serve and what you do.
Johan: Takes long to create a culture as well.
Giselle: Exactly. It takes a very long time and culture is created by the behaviors and interactions between people. So, I am giving a framework of the various behaviors that companies can look at and identify the ones that matter the most for creating that competitive talent advantage, thus the positive work culture.
Johan: And for people who see this video and want to know more about it where would they connect or where could they find out more?
Giselle: So, you can learn more about building a positive work culture at positivework.com. Simple.
Johan: So, positivework.com.
Giselle: That’s it.
Johan: Okay, great. And what are you going to do next after this?
Giselle: After this quite honestly I am hoping to find companies that are interested in going a little bit deeper. When I first came to Barcelona four years ago during the recession. I don’t think companies were very interested in investing in their talent. Now companies are realizing that investing in talent and culture is a competitive advantage. And so, I am looking to see what people are doing. I feel like I am kind of building my tribe and gettingto know what people are doing and I am here to help. You know I work mostly with multi-nationals and I haven’t work with the lot of Barcelona companies. So, I am interested to see whose doing this work and who wants to go deeper.
Johan: Fantastic. I myself, I develop some material around employee engagement and I have a deep filling appreciation for buildingmore interactive, more positive work interactions between management and employees. What main struggles do you see companies and their employees facing today?
Giselle: Well the obvious one is Millennials. So, Millennials will represent 50% of the workforce in the next four years. Millennials want companies to have a purpose. Millennials want to use the strength and creativity at work. Millennials require ongoing professional developing opportunities just to stay in their job. So, it really requires managers and companies that know how to give them career advancement and growth opportunities without necessarily that promotion. So, it’s about understanding how people are motivated.
Johan: Okay, thank you very much for your time. Good luck with the workshop.
Giselle: You are welcome.