Bring Your Human to Work: A book review by Bob Morris

Bring Your Human to Work10 Surefire Ways to Design a Workplace That Is Good for People, Great for Business, and Just Might Change the World
Erica Keswin
McGraw-Hill Pearson (September 2018)

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” Theodore Roosevelt

It is no coincidence that most of the companies annually ranked among those most highly admired and best to work for are also annually ranked among those that are most profitable and have the greatest cap value in their business segment. However different these companies may be in most respects, all of them have a workplace culture within which personal growth and professional development are most likely to thrive.

Erica Keswin asserts — and I agree — that “people crave work-life balance, sustainable work practices, and authentic, purpose-driven work cultures…Bringing our human to work will help us manage our technology and ourselves, too.”

The phrase “bring your human to work” means bringing humanity to work, and, enriching a workplace culture “where people can feel like they are plugged into something bigger than themselves — that’s a human culture. That’s the kind of place that businesses need to create if they want to succeed in this purpose-driven marketplace and the race for young, very-much-in-demand talent.”

In this book, Kerswin identifies and explains ten ways to establish and then strengthen such a culture. The specific initiatives are best revealed within the narrative, in context, but they are directly relevant to all organizations, whatever their size and nature may be.

Machines will have increasingly greater impact in months and years to come. Erica Keswin is convinced that, as a result, “the human touch” will have even greater value in personal relationships, both at work and elsewhere.  We don’t share joy or grief with a machine. We don’t depend on a machine to provide advice when a marriage is falling apart or a career is in a ditch. In other words, we do not have relationships with machines based on shared values, our better instincts, and a desire to “light a candle wherever we are” when engulfed in darkness.

Our humanity cannot out-perform new and better technologies but it can ensure that these same technologies improve not only our standard of living but also our quality of life within and beyond the workplace.


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