Rehumanizing Work in a Digital World - American Society of Employers - Mary E. Corrado

Rehumanizing Work in a Digital World

In an era where most of our daily interactions with others, like clients, colleagues, bosses, and even family members, often feel impersonal due to technology, and where our jobs are streamlined for maximum efficiency, it's understandable that many employees sense a loss of their innate creativity, curiosity, and humanity.

According to a recent article in Harvard Business Review, 30% to 40% of the variability in team morale, performance, and critical organizational behaviors (both good and bad) can be explained by what managers and leaders do. There are three key areas that managers and leaders can focus on to reenergize their team’s morale, well-being, and performance.  They include revitalizing, repairing, and refocusing.


In any workplace, people's energy and productivity levels can vary widely, both individually and across teams. Even top-performing employees may experience fluctuations in their performance, especially during tough times like economic downturns or global crises.

To tackle this, managers and leaders should focus on revitalizing their teams by reenergizing and motivating them. One effective approach is to start by clarifying the purpose behind the work—why it matters. It's essential to consistently remind team members of the importance of their work, especially during challenging times when doubts about career paths may arise. By emphasizing the why, leaders can help employees feel valued and connected to the company's goals, boosting morale and productivity.

Celebrating past achievements and highlighting how they contribute to future success is another way to reinvigorate teams. Strengthening social bonds among team members and recalling shared experiences can foster a sense of belonging and commitment to the team's mission.

At ASE, we dedicate time during each all-staff meeting to celebrate recent success stories.  It reminds us all why we do what we do and helps to recognize the achievements of individual employees or teams.


Repairing in leadership means using your influence to mend past and present issues, promote well-being, and address personal challenges rather than just business ones. All relationships can hit rough patches due to misunderstandings, disagreements, conflicts, and failures. Good leaders help their teams learn from mistakes and turn setbacks into opportunities to grow.

Being vulnerable plays a crucial role here, creating an atmosphere of trust and honesty within your team. By being open, transparent, and self-critical, you encourage open communication and unity, fostering collaboration and progress. A good measure of your leadership effectiveness is the balance of negative to positive feedback you receive—if it’s lower than a 2-5 ratio, there's room for improvement.

My direct reports have a form they fill out prior to each one-on-one meeting where they can openly discuss any type of challenge they are experiencing at work, whether it be personal issue, technology related, or whatever it may be.


When your team is feeling tired or unfocused, it's important to get everyone on the same page about what's most important. Communication is key. It's better to over-communicate than to leave people in the dark. Avoiding tough conversations or conflicts might seem easier, but it only leads to bigger problems down the line.

At the end of each year or the start of a new one, it's a good idea to sit down as a team and set clear goals and plans. Remember, strategy isn't just about what you're going to do, but also about what you're not going to do. Make sure everyone knows what they're working towards, why it's important, and how they fit into the bigger picture.

Another area on our one-to-one meeting form includes keeping track of the goals we set at the beginning of each year.  It’s important not to lose sight of them. It helps keep the employee on track and moving towards their goals and objectives while feeling motivated.

Managers play a key role in keeping an eye on employee morale and making adjustments where needed in response. How do you keep your teams energized and feeling connected? Email me at [email protected].

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