The future of offsites and rewards programs
When you put “employee rewards” into a search engine, the first non-ad it throws up is a bag of 50+ tricks. The collective consciousness of HR on this planet is therefore equating ‘performance’ with some trip voucher, gift, leave, medal or other such carrot.
Again, with offsites, while the reason to have them is to uplift people and get teams working – with ‘strategic brainstorms’ and the like – the crux is usually some outdoor activity. One that will supposedly distract people away from the humdrum office and leave them with a memory worth latching on to.
The question is, is that what the ‘Human’ in Human Resources Development has been reduced to? A Pavlov Dog? Or have we stopped evolving? Are we forgetting the human aspect; which is the reason dogs do not go to offices and humans innovate productively? Are we forgetting the higher consciousness that we possess? And are we neglecting opportunities to enhance the same?
Information Technology v/s Inner Technology (IT)
The more you read about ‘the future of…’ the more you will encounter Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven stuff. Apparently, AI will rule over productivity and even over our conscious choices about most everything. In fact, if you look at the last 200 years, advances in technology aimed at taking us outside of where we are faster and faster. From the printing press to cars to planes to telephones to internet to whatapp video. That was billions of billions of dollars invested. This article predicts that the next billions will be invested in taking us inside of ourselves faster and faster.
And to do that, we must take a page out of ancient wisdom and revisit IT (which refers to Inner Technology for the rest of this article). Because the high priests of ‘reaching inside’ were the meditators of the oriental world. And the good effects of meditation (for starters) are beginning to be felt in the modern corporate world as well.
Meditation starts with awareness. Which is a quality of human consciousness that has been cultivated for productivity. We learned how to harness fire because we ‘became aware’ of how flint stones could be played with at will. No other species rose to that awareness. But today, humans with the same quality are playing with digital and genetic code. Taking awareness into supposedly cloning humans. Without the meditative strength, without the Inner Technology (IT), required to do so.
Building the IT culture would mean to emphasize staying in awareness. Being mindful. Being the opposite of ‘busy’. Busyness however has turned into a virtue. Multitasking is eulogized over focus. “How much” rules over “How well”. At offsites. In rewards. And all of that will change.
IT as a framework, not as an offsite capsule
Progressive organizations have started introducing a half-hour jaunt into meditation or yoga during their offsites; at times even in office environments. While that is good, that is akin to throwing cement between two piles of bricks. If you want to build a structure, the cement has to bind every brick. The good news is, we have now rediscovered that the cement – the IT – exists and can be used.
Taking it into offsites for example, thematically the brainstorm would have to be over a people-oriented subject rather than over a business-oriented one. Since business is driven by people, the right solutions will emerge, but the humans at the offsite will orient themselves to using their consciousness differently. Every part of the offsite will draw upon a focus within. “How do you vibrate with it?” Quite naturally, ideas that are sustainable and win-win will be tabled.
Additionally, one must use the offsite to empower participants with skills that teach them how to dive within themselves at will. Qigong exercises are a great way to do this – and they result in enhanced teamwork and relationships, besides developing personal power.
IT for health and productivity is a win-win and lifelong reward
Taking inner technologies into rewards, while many are aware of the power of energy healing techniques like Reiki for example, few (corporates) have been willing to present a Reiki course as part of their employee orientation program. What if you do? You impart a lifelong technique for staying healthy, ostensibly to gain lifelong loyalty (and attendance) of the recipient.
And what if the best-and least-performing teams get a Mindfulness 2.0 Workshop in Ladakh? The next quarter will be one to watch for! Because you, as the chief-people-officer will demonstrate a willingness to invest in the power of human potential, not merely in the results that their older habits brought in.
So here’s to you, the CXO in charge of people. Use every opportunity to raise human consciousness, while bettering performance in the bargain. Not only will you future-proof your organization, you will win, and win again!