Are happy workers and workplaces following the trend of bees and beehives toward extinction?
An article in the October 2013 New York Times raises concern about the Colony Collapse Disorder wiping out 40 percent to 50 percent of the hives needed to pollinate many of the nation’s fruits and vegetables.
As for bees themselves, The Centre for Research on Globalization proclaims that in the last half decade alone 30% of the national bee population has disappeared and nearly a third of all bee colonies in the U.S. have perished.
We have chosen to align our brand with that of the beehive which portrays our philosophies and observations of the modern day workplace.
We’re acutely aware of rising global trends in depression, stress and anxiety, accompanied by increasing workplace mental health challenges, and our analogy likens the declining numbers of bees with declining workplace happiness and mental wellbeing.
For both humans and bees, the threats are external and recent.
We need to look at the surviving colonies to understand the fabric of their success and translate this to our workplaces to protect ourselves against the potential threats to the psychological safety of our workplaces and people.
Key survival factors:
- Bees are social insects, which mean that they live together in large, well-organized family groups
- Bee colonies function without central authority, its collective social behaviour and collective decision-making.
- A single bee cannot grow or survive by itself
- Bees groom other bees to clean them of potential parasites; they feed each other, divide labour, and tend to the young.
- When one part is threatened, the whole colony reacts
- The colony changes to survive different seasons.
In essence, trust and cooperation are vital to the survival of the hive.
Whilst scientists may not yet know exactly why beehives are experiencing Colony Collapse Disorder, in our workplaces leaders can take action and build competitive advantage by creating great and psychologically safe, fit and thriving workplaces that mirror bee communities.