Infusing Your Employees’ Roles with Purpose and Meaning
Let’s talk about something that’s crucial for maintaining the workplace equilibrium: aligning your employees’ values with their roles. When your colleagues find purpose and meaning in their work, they bring their A-game like never before.
It’s not enough for employees to simply clock in and collect a paycheck. People are seeking more from their work, craving meaning and purpose that goes beyond just making money. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to understand the importance of aligning your employees’ values with their roles, and to take intentional steps to foster purpose and meaning in their work.
So, how do you do that?
Let’s dive in.
Have those conversations
First off and most obvious, communication is key. It’s easy to say “I know that” but do you clearly spell out your organization’s values and show how they connect to your employees’ roles? Clearly communicate your organization’s values and how they relate to your employees’ roles. Don’t just plaster them on the walls or bury them in the employee handbook, but actually talk about them. Have those team meetings, one-on-one conversations, and put them in writing.
Do you know what matters to your team members? What makes then tick? Ask thoughtful questions that go beyond work-related topics. For example, you can ask questions about their hobbies, interests, family, and cultural background. This can help you gain insights into their values and what matters to them outside of work.
Create a safe space where employees feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, opinions, and concerns. Listen actively to what they say and be empathetic and non-judgmental. Make sure that they know that they and their work fit into the bigger picture of your organization’s purpose. It’s like giving them a roadmap to a more meaningful work experience.
If one of the values of your company is continuous learning, don’t miss having this conversation, How to Foster an Organizational Culture of Learning
Get buy in
Involving your employees in the process of defining and shaping your organization’s values can be a game-changer. You shouldn’t just dictate the values, involve your employees in shaping them.
Pay attention to your team members’ actions and behaviors… how do they interact? What kind of projects do they volunteer for? These can provide clues about their personal values and what motivates them.
So, give them a voice. Run those brainstorming sessions and workshops and let them share their thoughts on what the values should be. When they feel heard and included, they’ll be more invested in those values and motivated to live them in their roles.
This article includes a 7-step methodology to help your team’s decision-making process work more effectively, Problem Solving Requires Two-Way Communication.
Sharpen THEIR axe
What about levelling up your employees’ skills and knowledge? Invest in their growth and development by providing training programs relevant to their roles and that align with their interests, values, and career aspirations.
For example, if one of your team is all about sustainability, offer training on eco-friendly practices and let them lead the charge on green initiatives. They’ll be so motivated to make an impact in their work. Show them that their growth matters, and that you’re invested in their success.
This piece, Instilling A “Just Skill Me” Mindset at Your Company, includes 3 steps you can take to move toward an expansive, possibility-filled and boundless learning mindset
Show that you actually care
But here’s the real deal: recognition and rewards. Regularly acknowledge and celebrate your employees who embody your organization’s values. Give credit where and when it’s due! When they feel appreciated and valued, it’s like a shot of motivation straight in their arm.
Implement formal recognition programs, like “employee of the month” awards, and also make it a habit to offer simple verbal acknowledgments or handwritten notes of appreciation. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but it does need to be sincere.
Use The Four “I ….. You” statements often to show you care.
In the round
Therefore, create that amazing work environment where your employees feel respected, supported, and included. Foster open communication, embrace diverse perspectives, and create opportunities for your team to express themselves.
When they feel like they belong and their opinions matter, they’ll bring their best selves to work every day.
James Perry is a finance leader guiding and mentoring individuals to achieve their professional and personal aspirations.
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