Just as in their personal lives, people want to feel valued at work. They want to know that the work they are doing is adding value to the organization and it's customers. Showing up and working hard day-in and day-out is difficult when there isn't a clear reason for the work that is being done. If you have ever done monotonous work in the past, then you understand exactly what I mean. People want to know that the work they do improves the lives of others. They need to understand why their work is important so they can continue feeling inspired to achieve the mission of something bigger than themselves.
Your employees are part of something bigger than themselves, but do they know it? From the first interview, potential candidates need to understand and share in the mission of what you are doing as an organization. That mission alone will motivate and inspire your team, down to its junior members, which comes back full circle in effectively facilitating company growth.
Lisa Earle McLeod, who is best known for the “Noble Purpose” concept, explained the following in an open statement to employers: “I was raised to believe I could change the world. I’m desperate for you to show me that the work we do here matters, even just a little bit.” 51% of people spend their days at work doing something that they don’t care about. If every organization has a legitimate purpose, than why does half the population feel their job doesn’t? The organizations are doing something wrong.
A simple suggestion to creating purpose for your employees is to gather feedback from your organization’s end customers and to communicate that message to all employees. For instance, the machine operator of a medical device company only sees the screw that is pumped out of the machine that they are forced to find dimensionally correct. But the end customer, a 4-year old diagnosed with scoliosis, sees something different in that screw. That screw allows them to walk upright and sleep without pain. If the machine operator doesn’t see the value in his or her work, it is the fault of leadership. The value is there, it just isn’t communicated. Communicate the value of the organization and the work it does to all employees on a clear and consistent basis. I think this simple practice will lead to more smiles in the workplace and less dreaded work days.
For more information on creating and communicating purpose in the workplace, Lisa McLeod's website is loaded with great resources: www.mcleodandmore.com
Imagine a smile on your face,