WHAT IS MEANINGFUL WORK?
Finding or developing Meaningful Work is a personal, case-specific exercise, in which you as a professional or organization need to get to your core: why are you doing what you’re doing, and how does your way of working follow from that? Generically though, there are some core principles that describe a meaningful way of working within an organization. Whether you’re an individual or belong to an organization, these principles can and should be leading in the way you design your work life.
Though many organizations talk about purposes and missions, it is actually few who really live up to the term: purpose driven. A truly purpose driven organization bases its vision, business model, way of working and company culture on its purpose, the all-transcending higher goal, and their reason for existence. People have a natural feel for organizations who are sincere about their purpose, and employees, managers, customers and partners all feel intrinsically drawn to organizations who walk the talk when it comes to purpose.
In line with being purpose driven, it is important for organizations to focus their processes around creating actual value. In modern corporate lingo, value is often confused with contribution to profitability, of which it is inherently distinct. Where profitability merely focuses on the potential to increase sales or profit in general, value is the perceived, subjective worth of a service, product or action taken, often with the goal to improve current or future lives. A focus on value will make employees intrinsically motivated to engage with their work, feeling that what they do makes a difference for someone somewhere.
In order to get the most out of work, it is essential to have an eye for the needs of employees. In a high-paced world in which burnout and stress levels are higher than ever before, it’s all about monitoring and actively lowering stress levels while promoting digital awareness and wellbeing. With rates of digital interaction increasing, stimulating real, physical connection is key. In meaningful work, employees are considered core to the organizations functionality, and both their mental and physical wellbeing is an absolute priority.
SINCERE AND PERSONAL
A work environment that is sincere and personal is important for employees to feel safe, enabling them to connect with one another. Work environments can be contaminated with politics and manipulation, which not only employees, but also customers grow aware of rapidly. Mostly though, insincerity in work environments is quite subtle, with employees ‘acting’ to be driven and fully engaged where in reality, they are not. Finally, impersonal processes (over-digitalization f.i.) may detach employees from their (internal) customers, reducing their jobs to merely a series of tasks, instead of a meaningful contribution to the end result. Creating a sincere and personal work environment allows people to be themselves and truly connect with their work and the environment.
WE SUPPORT YOU
Whether you would like to help your students or employees develop their meaningful career, or develop your organization itself to become more meaningful, we can help you out! Have a look at our workshops or our teamwork redesign methodology, and get in touch when you’re interested. Let’s make Meaningful Work a daily reality!