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Make it matter: Why giving jobs a higher meaning makes for happier employees, better work, and more satisfied clients.

What makes a company extraordinary is the ordinary with that little bit extra. The magical moment when an employee goes the extra mile makes all the difference to your clients and your company. But how do we motivate our team members and employees to deliver beyond what’s required of them? How do we get them to share a collective passion and drive that will move the company onwards and upwards?

The answer is to make it matter.

By fostering meaning at work by giving everyday jobs a greater sense of personal significance to your employees will encourage them to go out of their way for your company. The feeling of belonging to a team and pursuing a higher purpose will connect with their own ambitions, allow them to care more about what they do and let them know you see them as people, not as employees. They’ll start looking forward to work. They’ll find work more enjoyable; more rewarding. In fact, work will no longer feel like work.

Here are 5 simple ways in which you can make it matter – in the workplace and in the lives of your employees.

1. Let employees be who they are

Unique people create unique experiences. That’s why you should allow your employees to be individuals. They’re more than a title. Each one is a person, just like you. And the best way to show you care is to show that you appreciate your employee as a person.

A kind word, a quick discussion about family, a brief chat about the game last night or the hobby they’ve rekindled…those moments are infinitely more important than any meeting or performance evaluation.

2. Focus on the WHY

When you create a guideline or process, put four times as much effort into explaining why as you do explaining what. Tell me what to do and I’ll do it. Tell me why and I’ll embrace it, and in the process care a lot more about doing it well.

3. Foster a unique sense of purpose

Just like we all want to feel part of a team, we all like to feel a part of something bigger than ourselves. Feeling a true purpose starts with knowing what to care about and, more importantly, why to care. Everyone loves to feel that sense of teamwork that turns a group of individuals into a real team.

4. Hear them out

Every employee has ideas, and one of the differences between employees who care and employees who do not is whether they are allowed to share their ideas and whether their ideas are taken seriously. Employees who provide input clearly care about the company because they want to make it better. Make sure that input is valued and they will care even more because now it’s not your company. It’s our company.

5. Create opportunities

Every employee wakes up every day with the hope of a better future. Show them you care by helping create a path to that future. Great companies understand that building a better future for the company is directly dependent on building a better future for their employees.