“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” —Theodore Roosevelt
By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM
Employees want the work they do to have a purpose. Having a purpose makes their work rewarding. Whether or not employees find their work rewarding may have the single biggest impact on their attitude and productivity. As a leader, you should strive to create a work culture that emphasizes autonomy, collaboration, and transparency. Help employees see how their values and priorities align with yours and those of the organization. Give them rewarding work by engaging them, challenging them, and helping them find meaning in their work on a daily basis.
Earl Nightingale said, “We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we’ve established for ourselves.” Do you want productive employees? Then engage them in working toward goals you both believe in. Give them the opportunity to have a real impact on something bigger than themselves. Demonstrate trust and respect by allowing them to have control over how their own work gets done. Bring them together and provide a sense of community and the opportunity to develop true and engaging connections with others.
Nate Berkus told us, “You will enrich your life immeasurably if you approach it with a sense of wonder and discovery, and always challenge yourself to try new things.” Employees want to feel challenged. When you provide opportunities for them to tackle challenges you show that you trust and respect them; you spark their interests and build self-confidence. Just as you should continue to grow and stretch yourself, you need to offer your employees the same opportunity.
Les Brown stated, “Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals, and charge after them in an unstoppable manner.” Employees want work that is meaningful. Finding that meaning is what will keep them motivated. As a leader, it is your responsibility to develop a shared purpose and meaning that employees can buy into; make finding and sharing this meaning a priority. Incorporate shared values into the work employees are responsible for. Strive to help them understand that their time is not being wasted on something meaningless. Become aware of what matters to your employees and then connect with them in serving higher purpose.
Make it Rewarding
Having a purpose makes employee’s work rewarding. And, rewarding work results in higher levels of employee satisfaction and productivity. As a leader, it is your responsibility to engage employees in the work they do, offer them challenges and show that you trust them to address these challenges, and help them find meaning that is tied to shared values. You ask your employees to give their best to their work, make it rewarding.
What can you do, starting today, to make work more rewarding for your employees?
© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli
Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.
Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at email@example.com.