9 Ways to Help Your Team Find Meaning in Their Work
YEC (Young Entrepreneur Council) surveyed some folks about how they help people find meaning in their work. Here are their responses.
How do you help people find meaning in their work?
1. Show Them the “Bigger Picture”
It is very important to tell your team “why” you ask them to do something. “Why” should answer the bigger picture that is either related to company, product or customer. If everyone in your company can understand the direct or indirect impact of the work they are doing, they would be able to find the real meaning and be more committed and passionate as well.
– Shilpi Sharma, Kvantum Inc.
2. Help Them Spend Time on What Gives Them Energy
I have discussions with my team about what gives them energy versus what drains their energy. We brainstorm about ways to restructure duties to allow them to spend more time on what gives them energy and then automate, delegate or minimize the activities that their drain energy.
– Brandon Dempsey, goBRANDgo!
3. Create Purpose, Vision and Values
We help people find meaning in their work by proving a purpose, vision and set of values that they believe in. Our company purpose is to “Move the World,” so even though we move people’s belongings, we more importantly want to move people emotionally. We do this by living our four core values which are “Always Branding,” “Creating a Fun Environment,” “WOW-ing our clients” and “Building Leaders.”
– Nick Friedman, College Hunks Hauling Junk
4. Show Them How Their Work Serves Others
Explaining how their work serves others is a great first step towards helping employees and coworkers find meaning in it. Every job has some element of service; otherwise it wouldn’t exist. Show them what they do has a profound impact on many people inside and outside your culture. You could go one step further and ask them to draft a mission statement explaining what they do and whom it serves.
– Jared Brown, Hubstaff
5. Use a “Stepping Stone” Approach
I always tell employees sometimes who know that their job isn’t what they want to do forever that it’s a stepping stone to the next thing, and they’ll get a lot of what they do. It’s all about building habits, creating passion and connecting meaning — not only to the job but also to the organization and making sure they understand that what they do is an important piece of the puzzle to make the company a success.
– Pablo Palatnik, ShadesDaddy.com
6. Start With the Good News
In a startup environment, it can be all too easy to focus on what could be better and not slow down enough to appreciate what is going right. To keep employees motivated and help them find meaning in their work, we now start off every staff meeting with a recap of positive updates. It is only after celebrating our successes that we delve into future plans and potential areas of improvement.
– Lindsay Tanne, LogicPrep
7. Be Transparent
Transparency into the company’s operation instills significantly higher levels of motivation and commitment, because it speaks directly to the level of trust I have in my employees. They work harder to build our company as a result. Showing my associates the correlation between their hard work and the results the company achieves has helped me tremendously in my business ventures.
– Jobby John, EndoTech Solutions
8. Celebrate Every Accomplishment
Celebrate every accomplishment, no matter how small. A positive attitude toward positive progress is contagious. Whenever we close a new deal or finish a big project, we literally bang a gong. Reiterate how valuable each little victory is to your organization and how each team member brings unique value that is directly reflected in the quality of products or services your company provides.
– Andrew Kucheriavy, Intechnic
9. Show Gratitude and Acknowledgment
I find that the most effective way to help people truly find meaning and passion in their work is to constantly encourage them, acknowledge their successes and show gratitude everyday (even for the little things). It’s important to let people know that you recognize what they do and how much you appreciate it. Also, providing constructive criticism and feedback is always a plus.
– Gerald Wilmink, WiseWear Corporation
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