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Date posted: 01st February 2024

01st February 2024

Meet the 2024 Top Inspiring Workplaces Judges: Craig Forman

Meet the 2024 Top Inspiring Workplaces Judges: Craig Forman

IW: We’re delighted to be joined by one of our judges for the Top Inspiring Workplaces 2024: Craig Forman. Firstly, What does an Inspiring Workplace mean to you?

An inspiring workplace is one uniquely crafted to align with the brand’s promise, supporting people in a way that allows them to feel seen and supported. It’s a place where people feel safe to learn from mistakes and connected enough to celebrate wins, with decision-makers who listen and build the organization in tandem with employees, ensuring everyone feels seen and supported.

IW: You’re a judge for the Top Inspiring Workplaces 2024. What do you hope to see in the entries?

I look forward to learning from various organizations, understanding their approaches to current challenges, and adapting to the changing workplace landscape. I also eagerly anticipate connecting with the people who bring these workplaces to life daily.

IW: Following on from that, What are the key areas of focus for organizations looking to improve the people experience?

  • Transformative Mindset: Emphasizing the need for constant transformation in work culture.
  • AI Integration: Acknowledging AI’s transformative impact on work.
  • Rethinking Return to Office (RTO): Considering the influence of workspaces on goals.
  • People Analytics and Employee Listening: Using scaled listening for informed decision-making, a critical future skill.

IW: What qualities do you believe are essential in a leader today and why?

  • Self-Awareness: Understanding personal motivations and their impacts.
  • Empathy: Ability to understand and support others’ journeys.
  • Diversity of Approach: Welcoming individual uniqueness and needs.
  • Data-Savvy: Balancing data use for group insights and individual attention.
  • Career Stewardship: Guiding team members’ career advancement through daily work.

 IW: What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

The best advice emphasizes that everyone wants to be seen and heard, a fundamental understanding crucial in all professional interactions and relationships.

IW: What are your thoughts on engaging remote teams effectively?

Engaging remote teams requires strong facilitation skills, especially in virtual settings. Balancing virtual and in-person meetings is key, as well-planned in-person gatherings can fuel weeks, if not months of virtual work.

IW: We are a big believer that fostering psychological safety is an organisational imperative. Do you agree and if so, why?

Leaders must cultivate physical and emotional safety environments. Trust is the bedrock of leadership – without it, leadership fails to inspire true followership.

IW: 4-Day week – Yes or No?

The feasibility of a 4-day work week hinges on an organization’s culture and brand promise. The right approach varies across sectors, from tech to retail.

IW: How can we address generational differences in the workplace to improve collaboration and understanding?

Generational stereotypes risk bias. A robust employee listening strategy tailored to an organization’s unique demographics can foster understanding and collaboration.

IW: What should be the top priorities for employers in the next 5 years?

  • Redefining leadership
  • embracing AI
  • overhauling performance management
  • Integrating community-building into organizational employee engagement strategy 
  • Employee listening will be crucial in navigating these changes

IW: How can employers empower people and foster a sense of belonging in the workplace?

Empowerment stems from decentralized power structures and a bottom-up approach to belonging. Executives must lead by example, not just by directives.

IW: A few fun ones to end! 

Favourite film
Elf. Its timeless humor and Will Ferrell’s committed performance make it a perennial joy for my family and me.

Favourite artist
Prince stands as a full-package artist. His comprehensive skills across songwriting, performance, and musicianship, particularly his guitar prowess, have deeply influenced me.

Best song to get you motivated at work

“Nightrain” by Guns N’ Roses. Its pure rock essence never fails to energize and uplift me.

Best place you have ever visited
The Playa at Burning Man. It was an unexpected, life-altering experience that has left an indelible impact on me.