Most people would agree that we all want meaningful work, purpose and recognition for our efforts. It’s just that we don’t often receive it in the work place, which is why most people move on. Lack of positive feedback is one of the biggest reasons why people leave.
Many of you will have heard the old story about the NASA floor sweeper who when asked in the 1950’s by the American president on a state visit, what his job was, he was supposedly reported to have answered with the following purposeful and ambitious statement …
“My job is to help put a man on the moon.”
And maybe you have also heard of the hospital cleaner responsible for sanitising theatre rooms, when asked a similar question, equally positively and proudly replied …
“That’s easy, it’s to save lives.”
To have answered in this way they must surely have had a sense of purpose, recognition and job satisfaction for their work. I think these two examples perfectly show that if you give people meaning and purpose the return on investment through commitment, productivity and discretionary effort can be enormous.
Purpose and Meaning
Whether these stories are true or not they demonstrate that understanding the mission of the organisation, its direction and its purpose not only gives an identity to every role that an individual plays in the total company but it also gives meaning and purpose to their job.
As with products, the features themselves on their own really aren’t that important, it’s the benefits they bring that are. So it’s not only the job you do that matters, it’s how it helps the organisation achieve what its mission is and how it helps serve the end user or customer, whether that be for specific individuals or in the case of the NASA floor sweeper, mankind as a whole.
People are far more motivated and engaged with the job and work they do when they understand the importance of it and how it fits into the bigger picture. All jobs are important. If not why would they exist?
By letting employees know how valuable they are by investing in their ability to either do a better job or enhance their career is a powerful motivator. Giving positive feedback and encouraging employees to express their ideas and suggestions to improve the business can deliver real benefits. They will willingly do so if they see that their ideas are taken seriously.
When you invest in your employees through recognition, not only do you support their well-being, you also trigger a greater investment in their part in the job.
Sharing information also empowers employees, as they feel worthwhile because they are being trusted with information beyond their immediate scope. Valuing employees in this manner will improve teamwork and facilitate co-operation.
If you listen to friends, colleagues or suppliers, you will often hear them talk about job satisfaction and how it’s important to them that they see the benefit of what their effort and passion brings. Whether that’s at the grand product launch they helped contribute to the development of or by being updated about happy customers that love what they helped to achieve and the organisation that they work for, it all supports the “why” and “how” of how important their involvement really is.
People leave careers and jobs because they don’t feel they get that moment of recognition for themselves often enough, and although that recognition they desire may also be from their employer and colleagues, it’s also as much needed from the people that benefit from their work. In many jobs, employees are too far removed from the moment of truth, where the customer or end user actually benefits from their contribution and so they seldom see it, hear about it or benefit from that sense of satisfaction themselves. So what about them, how do you connect them to that recognition and satisfaction more regularly so they get that recognition?
Communication and engagement, internal PR, just as we have to be our own public relations agents for ourselves in our everyday lives, having that internal dialogue that keeps us motivated and confident enough to try new things and push our boundaries is no different from having internal corporate PR and communications. Not in the insincere sense, in the informed, open and positive sense.
If staff are informed and updated more regularly about the successes and challenges a business enjoys and faces, together they are better equipped to celebrate or overcome them.
At Brownie Points we believe recognising performance and giving positive feedback really works… and we can make it work for you.
Brownie Points is working with thought leading organisations around the world to tailor employee feedback and recognition programs that have a positive impact on the bottom line.
With our growing network of alliance partners we are able to offer cost effective solutions for any business.
To learn how Brownie Points could make a difference in your business, call the team today on + 61 (3) 9909 7411 and book a free demonstration, or for more information email us at firstname.lastname@example.org