How to Find Meaning in Any Workplace
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For winning in life, you need meaning in life. When you find meaning at work, at home, and in every challenge that life has thrown at you-you are well on your path to living a life with meaning.
One common issue faced by the companies in problems is that employees no longer want to work for them. They do not find meaning in their workplace. If you are not finding meaning at work, the three-step magic formula below can help you to find meaning at your workplace.
Detachment- Imagine you are fired from your work. Then find out what are you missing.
Skills- Identify the skills you are gaining at your current workplace. For example, Donald Trump is a businessman and Obama is a lawyer. They have successfully used their skills from their profession to be successful in politics and administration.
Network- What network/ contacts you are gaining today, that you can potentially use in future.
These are all the bricks that you are gaining today to build the house of your life- the life with meaning.
But this magic formula also has limitations, because you are not focussing on fulfilling your moral responsibilities. These responsibilities get fulfilled when you are external oriented and do something for the society, in order to make this world a better place to live in.
Your Unique Skills
You can find meaning at work when you are using your unique skills, have the freedom to perform, and have responsibility for the outcome of your decisions. But the question is, are you fulfilling your psychological needs or your moral responsibilities? Psychological needs-making good money, developing self, helping family and building your career are necessary. But they need not directly fulfil your moral responsibilities and hence the meaning that you find is not long lasting.
It’s only when you orient to future and go on the path that clearly identifies your personal role in making this world better, that your meaning becomes long-lasting. At that stage, it does not matter whether it gives you any personal benefits, what matters is what the others get through your purposeful mission. The fulfilment of psychological needs then becomes a by-product.
In Your Own Company
Now, if you manage a company, let’s see how your company gains when you have your employees living a meaningful life.
A company declined to bid for a multi-million-dollar project. The required investment to execute was too high. The real reason, however, was that many employees were the prisoners of the past, hence did not think big.
But they were completely engaged- had a sense of ownership, were emotionally connected to the company, and were ready to go beyond their assigned work roles. Such a high level of engagement was because of the meaning they found at that workplace.
The result of such high engagement was that the employees re-framed the situation and evaluated the decision regarding the bid. They tried to convince the president to reconsider the decision of declining the bid. They oriented him and the other team members toward the vision of a bright future for the company.
They went for the bid and won the project. The project turned out to be the recurrent revenue generator. Later on, when the other revenue streams for the company dried up, the project generated millions of dollars every year ensuring the company’s survival.
The above is just one example of what engaged employees can do. So if you represent a company, it is necessary to acknowledge that when you link company laurel to employee morale, profit to employee-job fit, and productivity to meaningful work activity, your company will generate the world-class growth and returns. And at the same time, your employees will find meaning at work.