7 Elements of an Enlightened Workplace - Safety, Care, Respect, Joy, Progress, Value, & Meaning.

The 7 Elements of an Enlightened Workplace: How does your company stack up?

May 21, 2021

The Enlightened Workplace Project.

When people love where they work and feel inspired by their organization, they deliver extraordinary results. The data show the business benefits of engaged employees. Yet it’s likely, based on engagement numbers, that your team is not as engaged as you might think. According to Gallup’s engagement data from 2020, only 31% of the working population is engaged, 54% is disengaged, and 14% is actively disengaged.

At ROI, we have identified The 7 Elements of an Enlightened Workplace.

What do we mean by “enlightened”? And how do we define “workplace”?

The term “enlightened” is broadly defined in a few ways below. And we define “workplace” as the culture you experience inside of your organization, regardless of where you are physically.

Enlightened   [ en-lahyt-nd ]

Freed from ignorance and misinformation​
– Merriam-Webster Dictionary

– Oxford Dictionary

Showing understanding, acting in a positive way, and not following old-fashioned or false beliefs
– Cambridge Dictionary

Workplace   [ wurk-pleys ]

…the culture you experience inside of your organization, regardless of where you are physically.
– The Enlightened Workplace Project

The 7 Elements of an Enlightened Workplace include: Safety, Care, Respect, Joy, Progress, Value and Meaning.
How well does your culture embody these? 

These seven elements are required to sustain engagement and establish a culture that fosters high-performance and outstanding results. You can read more about them below or download the 7 Elements One Pager and Action Checklist to see what you can do to increase these in your workplace today.

7 Elements of an Enlightened Workplace - Safety, Care, Respect, Joy, Progress, Value, & Meaning.


In a safe workplace, employees feel that both their physical and psychological safety are a top priority of the company.

Physical safety is a baseline expectation as employers have a legal obligation to provide a working environment that is free of hazards and physical threats. Psychological safety includes a sense of trust by the employee that their work will be free of harassment and that they will not be punished if they make a mistake in their work or report an issue to management.


A caring workplace is one where leaders genuinely care about the lives (both work and personal) of their employees. According to a study in the Harvard Business Review, the more love co-workers feel at work, the more engaged they are. How many managers are prioritizing building this kind of culture?


A respectful workplace is one where values such as listening to others, kindness and support exist and where people feel they are treated equally regardless of their differences. In a 2018 survey of ~20,000 employees worldwide by Georgetown University, respondents ranked respect as the most important leadership behavior.


At its simplest, joy is a feeling of great pleasure and happiness, or in the words of writer and teacher Eckhart Tolle, “vibrantly alive peace”. Joy is one of the most powerful ways of connecting people to one another and is an even higher standard than satisfaction or engagement in terms of how people feel about their work.


Progress in the enlightened workplace is defined as the journey toward achieving both professional and personal goals and objectives. Progress can be defined as small wins, breakthroughs, forward movement and goal completion. Setbacks can include hitting dead ends, being blocked in attempts to meet a goal, or failing to find access to crucial information.


A person feels valued when they are recognized for the unique contribution they bring to the organization and to the world. Efforts to make employees feel valued might include listening when they need to talk, showing gratitude for their work, finding ways to utilize their talents and passions, and celebrating milestones.


Meaning at work is a sense of purpose, fulfillment and thriving. For one’s work to be meaningful, it doesn’t have to have profound importance to society such as curing cancer or saving endangered species. What is important is that the employee perceives that their work contributes value to something or someone.

The Enlighted Workplace Project.

Does your workplace inspire you and your team to thrive?

See Also:


Kristin Brownstone ROI Internal Communication Agency Employee.
Kristin Brownstone

Vice President, Strategist

Kristin has nearly 30 years of experience helping billion-dollar companies make a positive impact on the world. A certified executive coach, author, public speaker and Sparketype Advisor, her expertise has been sought out by leaders at Adobe, Apple, CEMEX, Amazon and numerous other businesses.

BFS Headshot Dec_22
Barbara Fagan


Barbara is the founder of ROI. Named one of Silicon Valley’s most influential women and a lifelong nature lover, author and inspirational speaker, Barbara has devoted her career to improving the lives of employees and strengthening their relationship to their families, their passions and their work.