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3 Steps to Help Employees Find the Meaning in Their Work

Recognize This! – It really is as simple as Listen, Tell, Praise.

Psychometrics Canada came out last month with a study on employee engagement. One of the findings buried in the report was more interesting to me, though:

“Those working in government (80.3%) and business (74.4%) sectors are more likely to identify engagement as a problem than are people in education (64.2%) and not-for-profit (54.2%) organizations.”

Why is this? I tend to think it’s because those who choose to work in education and non-profit organizations are naturally much more connected with the “meaningfulness” of their work. I’ve written before about employees ranking “doing something meaningful” as more important to them even then recognition and cash rewards.

The challenge becomes, then, how do you help those in government and business “find the meaning.” Psychometrics own research lends some insight:

“When asked what leaders could do more of to improve engagement, respondents endorse these actions:
• Listen to employees’ opinions (71%)
• Communicate clear expectations (68%)
• Give recognition and praise (58%)”

That’s a pretty straightforward path for managers:
1) Listen – really listen – to me.
2) Clearly tell me what it is you need me to do and why.
3) Let me know when I’ve delivered what you needed. Recognize me!

How well do your managers follow those three steps with you? Do you believe you’re listened to? Do you know what is expected of you? Are you told – in an appreciative way – when you meet those expectations?

Also, don’t forget I’m moving to my own Recognize This! blog on Monday, May 2. Subscribers will move with me. If you want to subscribe to the corporate Globoforce Blog for new multi-author content on Globoforce news, events, customers and products, please subscribe here.

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