Recent research shows that the majority of employees feels disconnected with their work. The number of bullshit jobs is growing into shocking amounts. Burnouts and depression rates are going through the roof while we eat healthy, practice yoga and work out. In the meanwhile, organizations merely focus on profit and growth and hardly seize the opportunities to better the world. It is time for Meaningful Work.
WE DO THE WRONG WORK
According to recent research, 25% of the working population suspects their job is pointless, a 'bullshit job'. Let that sink in for a while. It means that every day, a quarter of the people that go to work, put in all their effort, energy and a lot of their time, and wonder if that actually has any use. They consider their job to be meaningless.
87% of the working population does not feel engaged with the work they do. A logical consequence of a complete mismatch between the missions, targets and goals of organizations and those of the people working for them. In a world where we fight against climate change, rising economic inequalities and increased suffering from mental diseases, we keep producing and polluting more, while making people live up to meaningless missions, targets and KPI's.
Many people ask themselves the question: what kind of work do I like? Or what can I sell? What if we would ask ourselves: what kind of work is really important? Research shows that both purpose driven companies and individuals are more succesful, robust and happy.
WE WORK IN THE WRONG WAY
Unhealthy way of working
Almost all modern day office workers are spending countless hours behind screens, more often than not sitting in an environment with insufficient daylight. In the meanwhile, stresslevels rise as never before, in an era where we became connected by email, whatsapp, messenger services and mobile phones. Finally, we work too many hours. Yes, too many hours. Before the industrial revolution, people used to work 32 hours per week. Nowadays, with way more tasks and responsibilities in our private lives, and a much higher level of welfare, we could easily work less, while we tend to work more.
More often than not, we make a bad estimation on people's intentions and capabilities. Caused by a disbelief in their maturity, employees are being governed like little kids: with fixed working times and a limited amount of holidays, we make sure they spend enough time working. More often than not, people are not given decision power proportional to their job, and administrative constraints will safeguard their 'otherwise lost professionality'.
Wrong standards and goals
By working towards KPI's, sales targets, bonuses and other sub-optimizing organizational goals, we seduce employees to take sub-optimal and short term beneficiary decisions: good for their career or department, but collectively conflicting with the organizations', customers' and society's long term end goals. This in its turn increases self-interest and politicality of employees, making the experience and the outcome even worse.
Wrong job and career design
Job descriptions and career paths have one thing in common: they are not designed to the satisfaction and development of the employees who work them. Employees have to fit the profile and follow the layed out career steps, instead of the other way around. As a result, we move workers up the career ladder to the level of their incompetence (Peter's principle), therewith losing valuable skills and talents where we need them. Those who are looking for a job that fits, will per definition succeed only partially.
DEALING WITH THE SITUATION
Doing the wrong work and working the wrong way is often not perceived as such. Everyone's heard the clinchers 'that's just how it works' or 'it's just a millenial thing, this looking for purpose'. Regardless of one's personal view on these matters, the figures speak loud and clearly: burnout and depression levels have risen drastically. Almost no employee feels engaged with the work they do. And we are failing to reach necessary goals on climate change while inequality levels rise.
Scratching the surface
When we dó acknowledge the importance of our health and happiness, our approach is often ridiculously naive: fitness facilities, free lunches and happiness officers are nót making this situation any better. Changing our work and the way we do it doés. Take a look at the purpose economy.
THE PURPOSE ECONOMY
Purpose driven organizations
From the rise of social enterprises to the words of CEO's of multinationals: purpose driven organizations have the future. With the workforce of the future mainly driven by social and environmental causes and shareholders and governments following their path, organizations start to focus on purpose. With the power of working beyond borders, it's organizations who posess the key to a better world.
Purpose driven careers
With social enterprises and refurbished organizations leading the way, the opportunities for doing meaningful work are expanding. Careers evolve from 'going up' towards 'mastering your talents' and jobs become more flexibile and talent fit. New generations are more aware and stronger connected by their purpose, leading the way towards new grounds.
DISCOVER MEANINGFUL WORK
Consulting for organizations
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