I was recharging my ‘business batteries’ this morning, reading about business purpose, when I got drawn in to the concept of meaningful work.
The overall concept is that if you know the larger purpose of your business, one of the things that will happen is that you and your employees will know that they are involved in meaningful work. Everyone will come to work knowing their part in achieving the end goal.
Much has been written about the younger generations and how they want to do meaningful work. This made me think about how the baby boomers approached work and whether or not they also wanted to be involved in something meaningful at work. My view is that as boomers entered the job market, they were thrilled to just have a job, as there were more boomers than there were open positions. Their first priority was food and shelter (no one wanted to live with mom and dad).
Of course, having an entire generation of workers that were in jobs just to meet the basic needs led to endless complaining. When I think of all of the hours that were wasted with people complaining as they collected their pay checks… well it all seems so silly. Workers would then rush home to be involved with their kids soccer team, or take their family boating, or doing volunteer work. Outside of work is where they fulfilled their desire to be contributing to a larger purpose.
In today’s world we can provide ourselves and our employees with the opportunity to do something meaningful through our jobs. Actually, if you want to attract and retain younger workers it is critical that you can express the larger purpose of your business to them. Younger workers, and many more workers in general, have meaningful work as a higher priority than pay and benefits.
I highly recommend that business owners spend time taking a good look at their business to realize what the purpose is. Being able to clearly articulate your business purpose will go a long way in attracting good employees and in having a cohesive work environment.