In honor of #throwbackthursday, I’m resurrecting the cover story from Convene‘s July 2013 issue, How They Meet, Inc., which explores how the companies on Fortune’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” list plan meetings.
It turns out these organizations plan successful events the same way they conduct successful business: by having fun, listening to their employees, creating a cohesive culture, making their executives and innovators accessible, and spreading their message.
However, this all begins with good management. Without a satisfied, valued group of employees, it’s difficult to have fun, effectively communicate, or maintain a unified message or culture.
I was reminded of this cover story when reading The Rise of Compassionate Management (Finally), a post by Bronwyn Fryer on the Harvard Business Review‘s blog. Fryer discusses the burgeoning trend of compassion in the workplace, and the many conferences dedicated to the subject, like the International Working Group on Compassionate Organizations, the Changing Culture in the Workplace Conference, and Wisdom 2.0.
She references a talk by LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner at Wisdom 2.0 — a conference that helps people connect in ways that are “beneficial to our own well-being, effective in our work, and useful to the world” — where he insists that showing compassion toward employees “pays off in that person’s much greater efficiency, productivity and effectiveness (and obviates later regrets).” Fryer adds that, “It’s not just altruism: as it turns out, companies that practice conscious capitalism perform ten times better than companies that don’t.”
Fortunately, Fryer’s outlook is optimistic. With more and more companies proving that happy employees mean better business, she believes leaders ruling with an iron fist will soon have a change of heart — whether it’s to better themselves or for the bottom line.
So if you want to strengthen your compassion muscle or if you’re experiencing what Fryer calls “cynicism fatigue,” you can say goodbye to quiet, cold offices operating on fear (à la The Devil Wears Prada), and hello to calmer, more compassionate, fun, and successful business environments.