In an era where there’s so much emphasis on finding purpose and restoring mental health, we still keep coming across people who are stuck in unhappy work lives. We can attribute this to demotivation, low morale, lack of challenges, rewards and appreciation at the workplace.
Humans are but social animals – as we get to hear around us often and rightfully so. Given that we spend one-third of our lives at work, it’s only natural that having positive relationships with our coworkers makes our jobs way more enjoyable.
According to a Gallup survey, people who have the best of buddies at work, are seven times more likely to be happier with their jobs. Likewise, being able to bag the kind of projects that engages them and contributes to their personal growth can result in higher earnings and increased customer involvement.
Coworkers are more inclined to express their perspectives while brainstorming and are more receptive to adopting new ideas when they share a comfort level with each other. Teamwork is where we embrace change, development and invention with an equal amount of interest and eagerness shown by all teammates. Group morale and productivity increase when members witness how amiably they can work together.
When you have solid working relationships, you have more freedom to confidently bring about productive new developments in the organization.
Managers and leaders thankfully can do a great deal in influencing such a healthy work culture. We’ve identified a few actions that every firm can do to help people find purpose & meaning in their work:
1. Assist your team in understanding their mission and demonstrating that their efforts are valued
Make time for staff to reflect on the purpose—of the deeper why—of what they do. A study of lifeguards found that they performed better when they were taught about previous lifeguards who saved lives instead of merely learning lifeguarding skills. Collect tales of how their work makes a little difference in the lives of others, and encourage people to share their own. Reframe the job descriptions, adding meaning to each in a way that your team players can reflect on how and why they fit in.
2. Acknowledge your people’s contributions and applaud on their achievements
Organizations that have etched out well-defined recognition programs, enjoy higher employee engagement and retention. Employees feel appreciated for their accomplishments.
“Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine.”
— Chris Hadfield, astronaut and former Commander of the International Space Station
Allow your staff to personalize their initiatives and seek assistance from coworkers when need be. Make a point of recognizing individual and team achievements and the impact these employees’ daily work has on the company’s overall goals.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
– HELEN KILLER
3. Offer valuable feedback to create a meaningful working environment
One of the most effective ways to assist team members to improve professionally is to give them your constructive feedback – in a manner that they have no room to take it personally.
Jean-François Manzoni, Professor of Leadership and Organizational Development at IMD International, explains:
“Even if you have no negative feedback to give, make sure to hold regular opportunities to check in. This way, you can advise how you feel your team members are progressing and could grow further. If there are any areas of work that you believe should be improved, these discussions are an excellent opportunity to give constructive criticism.”
4. Discourage toxic behavior actively, to avoid the roadblocks that come with it
Any progress made towards creating an honest, meaningful workplace can be disrupted when you instill fear and uncertainty among your staff. It’s also possible that a lack of decision-making or honesty is an issue. Remove toxic patterns that are impeding your team’s capacity to flourish in an authentic, meaning-driven culture where everyone can be their best selves.
5. Line up resources of training & development that attributes to meaningful work deliverance
An influential leader does more than assist their team members in performing their current tasks. They help them identify opportunities to improve their abilities and advance their careers. Give your team the resources and purpose to succeed and proceed to the next level.
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6. Commit to creating a learning environment for your team that is both energizing & favourable for personal growth
Allow your crew to build and implement their learning plans while providing support. Understand their various learning styles and attention spans, and create opportunities for progress by building on what they already know. Provide instant practice opportunities.
7. Establish trustworthy relationships
The first stage in building a team is to establish trust. The only way to do so is to let go of our desire for invulnerability. If your employees don’t know they matter, they will never believe how meaningful their work really is.Show them the long-term goals and how they’re important, beyond the hierarchy.
People are impressed by their peers’ personalities and managers’ leadership styles. Mutual respect, aligned goals, open communication and patience are all elements that can help a team succeed.
Any productive, happy team we observe, has all of the above in common and shows us how leadership is about motivating others to do the kind of work they want to, and not because they just have to.
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Talent Acquisition Specialists at Xperti (the fastest-growing, on-demand Java talent hub) take extra care of the fact that the tech talent they are to pitch at a firm, can readily gel in with their future teammates and are an ideal fit within the current organizational culture.
“Never invest in any kind of relationship with anyone who is not willing to work on themselves just a little every day. A person who takes no interest in any form of self-improvement, personal development or spiritual growth will also not be inclined to make much of an effort building a truly meaningful connection with you. A relationship with only one partner willing to do the work ceases to be a relationship. And as anyone who has been there will tell you — it’s pointless to try and dance the tango solo.”
— ANTHON ST. MAARTEN