Work Culture & Fixing Work: Insights from David Henkin & Thomas Bertels

Building a strong work culture with your team

Do you sometimes feel like work is just broken? In a recent episode of Qonversations, David Henkin and Thomas Bertels, authors of the book Fixing Work discuss a range of essential workplace challenges. These issues go deep into work culture and employee engagement, with the goal of providing solutions for a more enjoyable and productive work experience.



Reimagining the Employee Experience: Strategies for Organizational Change

Fixing Work is a rallying cry for a profound transformation in the way we perceive and approach the employee experience. Traditional work structures often overlook fundamental needs and desires, leading to employee disengagement and dissatisfaction. Henkin and Bertels propose a revolutionary paradigm shift that treats employees as customers of their own work experience.


This transformative approach emphasizes autonomy and meaningful engagement, recognizing that individuals thrive when they have ownership of their work and see its value. By reimagining work this way, Fixing Work challenges the status quo and aims to create roles that are not just tasks but sources of intrinsic motivation. The result is a workforce that experiences higher job satisfaction and contributes to overall productivity.

“We often just make decisions about who gets to do what without really thinking about the human on the other end.”

The Power of Purpose in Work: Driving Employee Satisfaction


Fixing Work focuses on the concept of purpose within the workplace. Thomas Bertels is president and founder of Purpose Works and passionately advocates for purpose-driven work. According to him, infusing meaning into work isn't just a personal benefit for employees; it is vital for organizations to thrive. When employees find a sense of purpose in their work, it goes beyond a paycheck; they become contributors to a more significant and meaningful cause. This shift can create a more engaged and committed workforce, connecting individuals to the company's broader mission and turning work into a source of personal fulfillment.


Building Trust in the Workplace


Henkin and Birkles underscore the need for employees to actively participate in shaping their work environments, irrespective of their position within the organizational hierarchy. This approach challenges traditional top-down, hierarchical structures; instead, it promotes a culture of collaboration and innovation, where individuals at all levels have a voice and a stake in the decisions that affect their work. Trust-building emerges as the fundamental foundation of this transformation process.


Establishing trust within teams and between leadership and employees is the bedrock upon which meaningful change can be built, but it involves fostering transparency in communication, encouraging vulnerability in decision-making, and genuinely embracing feedback and change. Trust forms the basis of a workplace culture where employees feel heard, valued, and empowered to contribute their best.


“You can't just go in the conference room and say, gee, we're now all going to trust one another.”


Strategies for Employee Engagement and Satisfaction


Fixing Work identifies the issues and provides practical strategies for employee engagement and satisfaction. Organizations can enhance employee engagement by reimagining the employee experience, infusing purpose into work, and fostering co-creation and trust-building.

Some strategies include recognizing and rewarding employees for their contributions, providing opportunities for skill development and growth, and promoting work-life balance. By implementing these strategies, organizations can create environments where employees feel valued and motivated to excel, ultimately leading to higher job satisfaction and increased productivity.

The transformative concepts in Fixing Work have the potential to reshape workplaces, creating environments where employees find fulfillment and purpose in their work and where organizations thrive through increased engagement and productivity.


Listen to the full conversation.

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