Addressing the quest for meaning
The issue of meaningfulness has today become a determinant in the life of business organizations. How can we identify our purpose and that of our companies—and transform this into an individual and collective performance engine?
People who know why they work are significantly more engaged. They do not count the time spent, are ready to question themselves to improve their work, and are an inspiring example for their co-workers. As for managers or executives, they rally and mobilize people more easily around their projects. We naturally think of prominent charismatic leaders such as Bill Gates, Richard Branson or Elon Musk as being pushed by a vision and a will beyond the norm. Yet, this state of mind can be found at all levels of an organization. It is not uncommon for a nurse or a hotel chambermaid to care as much, if not more, about the well-being of their patients or the reputation of their establishment as their superiors—and thus make a significant contribution.
Similarly, the most admired companies are often involved in serving a cause that is well beyond just their economic success. They do not consider themselves as just a car manufacturer, a software development firm or an airline. They feel invested in a deeper mission: facilitating their customers’ mobility, revolutionizing the way we work on a daily basis, making travel affordable to all, etc. Their customers and staff then perceive that they represent, beyond a commercial venture, a means for them to achieve their own aspirations. Beyond a motorbike manufacturer, Harley Davidson has become a symbol of freedom. Its customers do not buy “a motorbike”; they buy “a Harley”. Millions of fans, whether they own one or not, have gone as far as getting the Harley logo tattooed on their skin!
Whether at a personal or organizational level, introducing meaning into what we do makes us more motivated, more creative and happier at work?and simply put, better able to perform. An approach that, even if sometimes closer to the spiritual, can take its place within totally rational methods and frameworks.
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Expressing gratitude at work
Making staff feel valued is a demonstrated factor of engagement and performance at work, which managers however tend to underuse. How can you transform acknowledgement into an opportunity to differentiate?
Managers as motivation facilitators
Motivating employees is an arduous task, particularly since people cannot be motivated against their will. So, how can you help your team members be proactive in finding their own intrinsic motivators?
Find Your WhySimon Sinek, David Mead, Peter Docker
Identify your own raison d'être to better understand your sources of motivation.
Start With WhySimon Sinek
Identify your company's raison d'être and rely on it to ensure its long-term performance.
How to Be Happy at WorkAnnie McKee
Use happiness at work as a motivation driver, both personally and collectively.
To Give Your Employees Meaning, Start With MissionTeresa Amabile, Steve Kramer
On the importance of giving meaning in the business world.
To Find Meaning in Your Work, Change How You Think About ItJohn Coleman
Practical advice to help your staff members put the meaning of their daily work in perspective.