Most people leave (or considering leaving) their jobs because the job lacks purpose and meaning, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace.
With talent shortages already at record highs, you can’t afford to lose your top talent, but how much of a role can you play in helping others find meaning in their work? It turns out, quite a lot, and it’s worth your time.
If you have team members who find their work meaningful, they will be more productive and be far more likely to stay. Rather than trying to recruit “better employees,” here’s how to maximize the potential of your current staff:
Make the vision real
Vision and mission statements are fine, but often not very connected to people’s daily work. Help people translate the lofty words into something that makes sense in real life. This isn’t an exercise of dumbing it down, rather in helping people see context. Without context, work will be transactional and less meaningful.
Offer them customer interaction
Help people develop meaning by letting them interact with the people for whom they do the work. Invest in time for team members to get to know customers. Even if the actual work is three steps from the paying customer, when they have interacted with those who use the product or service, work is more real. Don’t forget internal customers too. As you break down silos and make the work about “Adam” and not just the “Accounting Department,” you create greater meaning too.
Make it a goal
Like anything else, when you set a goal and measure results you will be more likely to make progress. Tell the team you want them to find meaning in their work. Work with them to make that a reality.
Those are some practical ways to make meaningful work a reality in your workplace. For more insight, watch this video where I share some tips for influencing your people to care more about their work: