“What can I do to make my employees feel a sense of importance in their work?”
This is a common concern for many leaders who care about their employees and the well-being of their teams. Let’s accept the fact that no one can just make anyone feel a sense of purpose. That said, you have the power to guide your employees to find their own meaning in the work they do to help your company flourish.
The definition of meaning varies from person to person, and it’s essential to be aware of what really holds meaning for them individually. A research study about what makes work meaningful — or meaningless, conducted by Professor Catherine Bailey at the University of Sussex and senior lecturer Adrian Madden at the University of Greenwich, offers insights into common errors of poor management that make employees feel their work is meaningless. Interestingly enough, the interviewed employees did not mention good leadership when describing meaningful moments at work. But, the crucial finding in the research showed thatpoor management was destructive to the employees’ sense of significance and purpose in their work.
It seems logical that meaningfulness for employees would be directly related to situations within the work environment, similar to engagement or commitment. Thanks to these new findings, you can adjust your perspective.
Unlike work-related attitudes, meaningfulness was found to be extremely personalized and individual. As you might have guessed, people sensed more purpose and meaning in their work when it contributed to society in ways that mattered to them as individuals and even bridged the gap between work and personal life.
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