No one wants to go to work every day, do a boring job, and then go home. And do it again next day. And the next day. And the next.
Why does that sound so awful? Because we all have more to offer than just doing a repetitive job day after day.
We want to make a difference in people’s lives. We want to do something meaningful with the time we have on this earth. We want to be proud of what we are contributing for the good of our communities and our world!
We want our work to mean something, and to use our talents to make the world a better place.
Many leaders wonder why their team members are not as engaged as they could be.
The first thing I ask them to do is to review the job descriptions of the people on their team. Have they created jobs that are interesting, meaningful, and make a difference?
The second thing I ask is does each employee understand how their job contributes to accomplishing the mission and vision of the company?
Then the third thing is how often and in what ways does the leader express appreciation to their employees, include them in strategy and process development, and provide them with challenging and meaningful opportunities?
Some leaders push back and say that some things that need to be done aren’t sexy, challenging or fun. They are repetitive and maybe even boring? What do they do about those people?
My answer is this: Leaders can’t be lazy.
Leaders need to do the work to make sure that the above criteria are met for each person on their team. When they do, it is almost certain that your team members will be engaged and love their work. (Disclaimer here: this assumes no other extenuating circumstances exist!)
Even a receptionist can love his job if he is included in designing the processes for his work and he understands how important he is to the entire customer service experience and profitability of the company! And, if he is clearly appreciated.
Why is this true?
Because EVERYBODY wants to spend their lives being more than a cog in a wheel. So provide that to your team. Your people are giving up time and talent that they have to help you. Yes, you are paying them, but that doesn’t mean you OWN THEM. They can make choices about whose dream they want to help create.
You can’t make your dream come true without them. Thank them. Appreciate them. Challenge them. Care about them. Help them make their dreams come true, and they will pay you back ten-fold.