Accelerate May 2015 - Page 32

Engagement Should more people seek out jobs that they love? Absolutely. And, Companies can take steps to connect the employee to the greater meaning of their job, if a greater meaning actually exists. However, few have jobs that are intrinsically important. Some work to change lives, have great influence, or positively wield power. The truth is, most go to work, and, to the best of their ability, simply do their jobs. “Leave for another day many other good reasons to not do what you love — including the realities of providing for a family, getting healthcare, or saving for old age. Stressing and straining to discern some enchanted pathway of bliss is a futile exercise for most of us.” --Cal Newport In the absence of an “enchanted” work environment, we actually have something tangible and realistic to work with. Although not all jobs are intrinsically important, all people are. Although not all jobs are intrinsically important, all people are. Reframe meaningful work as significance, and we have a different perspective. 32 May 2015 Reframe meaningful work as significance, and we have a different perspective. The presence of significance is constant. The concept of significance calls forth a powerful sense of worth reaching beyond the actions or performance of the employee. Significance is about respecting a person for who they are, regardless of what they do. If a Company can effectively communicate this value to the employee, that employee will be motivated to extraordinary levels of loyalty and dedication – regardless of their position on the organisational chart. When the focus is on extrinsic components of the “work”, we assign responsibility for engagement solely based on the “job”, and its level of importance or compensation. However, when linking to the intrinsic perspective of significance, we tap into something fixed; an unlimited resource. When regarded as people instead of processes, employees connect in a strong way to the Company. They feel valued as a person, regardless of the perceived value of their job. Working adults spend more of their waking hours at work than anywhere else. Work should ennoble, not kill, the human spirit. Promoting workers’ well-being isn’t just ethical; it makes economic sense. --Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, New York Times While there are numerous modifications that can be made to maximise the external work environment, (to be covered in the third part of this series), you can’t guarantee the degree of satisfaction the work environment alone will bring. What you can rely on, is that each employee