Business & Talent. Aligned.

How you manage talent spells the difference between success and failure. To gain a competitive edge, leaders must be prepared to address shifting economic, social and demographic trends that impact workforce performance. Stay informed with research, insights and advice from our leading industry experts. The world of work is changing. Is your company ready?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Finding the meaning of... Work

Finding meaning in your work takes a bit of a different path than Monty Python’s parody on The Meaning of Life. Sure, it requires some philosophizing and speculation and probably a few calamities along the way. But most importantly, it requires some understanding of your values, motivators, demotivators, skills and strengths.

People want their jobs to be meaningful. And as they grow more aware of social and environmental issues, they become more interested in having their work align with those values. In fact, as many as 75% of employees find their work to be meaningful, according to a recent poll conducted by our research team. Only 4% of employees rarely or never find meaning in what they do.

Our findings suggest that most people care about their work – how it challenges them, offers a sense of worth or allows them to contribute to larger organizational goals and values. But finding your work meaningful doesn’t necessarily translate into high performance. As a leader, I’m sure you want to strive for a convergence of meaningful work and high performance - creating a powerful catalyst for employees to further the organization’s objectives. It benefits the organization to not only help employees find the kind of work that inspires and motivates them, but ensure employees are committed to the success of their company.

Business schools are doing little to prepare employees to find jobs they enjoy, but leaders and managers can play a real role in helping employees achieve meaning and engagement. Creating this type of environment can be difficult because each individual’s preferences are based on personal values and choices. However, managers are in a great position to identify individual preferences by regularly engaging employees in career discussions – uncovering those areas that drive increased levels of meaning and satisfaction. The challenge is to dig a little deeper and learn whether these same employees are engaged with their job as well as the organization.

Have you had career discussions with your employees lately?

No comments:

Post a Comment