Meaningful work connects employees to everything. It connects them to their own potential (Doing Your Best), to their organisation’s purpose (Doing For Others) to their colleagues (Being With Others) and themselves (Being Your Best).
Meaning is also the why of motivation and motivation is the why of behaviour. So meaning is also the starting point to change ways of working in organisations.
If meaning is really the starting point for understanding all human endeavour, can it be the mediator and integrator of disparate theories in organisational behaviour such as motivation, alignment and engagement?
The search for what makes life meaningful must have started when humans first set their eyes on the stars. In our previous blog we suggested that meaning is the ‘why’ of all human endeavour. It is the process we follow to rationalise our own existence. It is the link between our reality and dreams.
Commissioned by the Government the 2017 Taylor Report states that ‘good work’ should be a national priority.
It stresses that people should be able to flourish and grow at work improving their well-being whilst driving productivity. Respecting and trusting people to do a good job also creates an adaptive workforce that can deal with uncertainties such as digitalisation and Brexit.
The bottom line is that employees want to be heard and have meaningful work. They want to know they are doing something useful, something that they can feel proud of.
Being Your Best : This is a process of engagement and congruence as employees endorse their work as being aligned to their own values and beliefs. The research asks whether employee’s work contributes to their own meaning in life, whether employees have the opportunity to express themselves at work and whether they like who they are at work.
Doing Your Best : This is a physical expression of autonomy and competence as employees endorse their own behavior. The research asks if employees feel competent at work , whether they have clear goals and feel a sense of accomplishment at work.
Doing For Others : This is about creating a clear sense of what really matters to the organization and its corporate identity. This creates a sense of purpose and impact amongst employees. The research asks if employees feel they really help customers/clients and whether employees see the connection between their day-to-day work and the organisations purpose.
Being With Others : Employees feel a sense of belonging and relatedness as they interpret their own behaviours in relation to others creating cultural meaning. Here the research asks whether employees get on with one another and how committed they are to the organisation’s success.