How leaders can help employees understand the meaning of their work

    Some jobs by their very nature seem more meaningful than others. But really, all jobs are potentially meaningful. All companies serve their customers, their stakeholders, and their workforce, and the employees are in a unique position to make a real difference. Quint Studer says it’s up to leaders to help people see this. Great leaders create an environment where employees feel valued (and valuable), and this is what connects them to purpose.

    “There is no such thing as a job that does not count,” says Studer, author of Wall Street Journal bestseller “The Busy Leader’s Handbook: How to Lead People and Places That Thrive” (Wiley, October 2019). “And yet, we tend to work in environments where an employee is more likely to hear about their work when there is a problem. It is assumed that the impact of work is obvious, and because of that, leaders are not taking time to emphasize to each worker the why of their job and the important contribution it makes.”

    Studer shares these ideas:

    • Explain to each worker how what they do impacts customers and coworkers.
    • Drill down on the why.
    • Connect with customers and share that you like to recognize staff. Ask if there are any staff members they would like you to recognize and why.
    • Ask recognized employees who is helping them behind the scenes. Then, pass the message along to them.
    • Share meaningful stories every chance you get.
    • Finally, pay passion and purpose forward by thanking people outside your company.