We are more concerned about the quality of the job. But we seem less concerned about the meaningfulness of a job or work. In fact, a meaningful job is what we should ideally look for. Now, what do we mean by meaningful work? Well, meaningful work has nothing to do with the pay scale. In fact, it is more about the work being purposeful. Purposeful work makes us feel engaged, fulfilled and valuable.
Today, the world is highly practical. Therefore, we only do such things which have practical value. In fact, our education has also become job-oriented. Therefore, it means that the ultimate aim of getting educated is to secure a good job. Now, what makes a job ‘good’? Well, there are many factors like a good pay scale, a caring boss, friendly colleagues and an inclusive culture. All these factors are markers of a good job.
Therefore, the meaningfulness of work is also not only about any lofty goal. In fact, in today’s competitive market, it is very important to keep your employees. A recent Gallup Poll indicates that to lure employees from a job in which they feel engaged, around a 20% salary hike is necessary.
On the other hand, it is much easier to lure employees from a job where they do not feel engaged. Therefore, it is important to make employees feel engaged in the work. Read the article to know about a few ways to make work meaningful and engaging for the employees.
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How to Make A Job Meaningful?
This is a prime concern for most employers. They look for ways to keep their employees engaged. However, David Rock seems to have solved their problem. David Rock is the co-founder and CEO of NeuroLeadership Institute. It is a cognitive science consultancy which advises some of the biggest companies. David has also written four books.
David recently appeared on The New Way We Work. There he explained the ways to make a job meaningful. He talked about some practical issues that can make work meaningful and engaging.
David Sights ‘The Ladder of Construal’
Firstly, David refers to ‘the ladder of construal’. It is a process of the brain that enable us to connect our actions to a larger purpose. He cites the example of a caretaker at NASA. He suggests that a caretaker at NASA does not consider his job as simply sweeping the floors. Rather, the caretaker sees the job as connected with the greater purpose of sending people to the space.
Therefore, this makes one feel valued and helps keep one engaged in one’s work. He further states that if the employees are kept busy in back-to-back meetings, they find it difficult to stay connected to the greater purpose. Therefore, the employees should not be kept busy in repeated meetings.
David further adds that in order to keep the employees engaged, the manager must set shared goals for them. In fact, the manager must return to his/her employees frequently to check the progress. Moreover, David suggests that more shared goals create a sense of being a part of a group among the employees. This in turn creates a greater sense of collaboration and keeps them engaged.
The SCARF Assessment
After talking about ‘the ladder of construal’, David talked about the SCARF assessment model. He argued that it is true that everyone does not find motivation from similar sources. In this regard, he put forward the SCARF assessment of NeroLeadership. In fact, this is used by many companies to know the ways of keeping their employees busy. SCARF is the shortened form for Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness. He argues that the system is the product of years of rigorous research.
Scientists developed this model by studying the brain’s reward systems. The model deals with the five intrinsic motivations. David argued that people find those works meaningful on which they have autonomy and control. Moreover, when one finds relatedness in the work, the work becomes meaningful to that person.
Therefore, David Rock seems to have shown the way to make work meaningful for the employees. Moreover, he has also shown us the ways in which we can find meaningful work for ourselves.