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How to make work meaningful for your employees

Money might lure in employees, but it’s a sense of meaning and purpose, and the prospect of valuable work that will help you retain them. By Priya Prakasan

Good leaders understand that it’s part of their responsibility to ensure their employees find meaning in the work they do. It will help them thrive and grow, foster engagement and teamwork, and motivate them to put their best foot forward. Here are five best practices to facilitate this mindset.

1. Align their efforts with something bigger
While discussing the company’s visions, goals, strategy, etc also highlight how the employee fits into this larger picture. Connect their contribution to the organisation’s greater cause. This gives employees a sense of pride, a belief that their contribution/work matters and makes a different. This alignment with something bigger than themselves infuses their efforts with passion and purpose. Help them understand the context in which they work, and how their individual goals affect the mission and success of the organisation. This will bolster their efforts and give them a larger purpose.

2. Build a sense of community
When trying to create a meaningful workplace, it’s critical to create a strong sense of community and a culture of camaraderie among employees. Provide an environment where they can feel free to be themselves and enjoy working in, along with others. This sense of camaraderie is important so as to have a well-rounded community where there’s mutual trust and respect, and employees are happy to help and collaborate with each other. Leaders can encourage this by creating groups/clubs and community service programs, having friendly intracompany competitions, celebrating events that bring the team together, etc.

3. Promote open communication
Establish a work environment where all parties involved can freely communicate with each other without fear of being reprimanded, judged or vilified. Open communication gives everyone equal participation rights and promotes the flow of energy and innovation. Engage in regular team meetings as well as one-on-one sessions with your employees. Be sure to provide regular updates on important matters, share information liberally, and openly address any concerns. This will encourage employee engagement and create a culture of trust, showing employees they are valued and trusted.

4. Provide regular opportunities for feedback
This is an extension of the earlier point. Communication is a key factor that defines a leader-employee relationship. A great way to promote open communication is to create strong feedback forums where employees can air their views, share information, discuss ideas, etc. This two-way communication helps them feel more connected and invested in their role. Honest and constructive feedback is a powerful tool that can be used to increase engagement and growth. Good leaders regularly seek employee feedback to understand gaps in performance, where they can improve, team/employee issues, etc. This makes employees feel their voice is valued and recognised; an important step in providing motivation to stay on in the company.

5. Encourage constant learning
Find a ways to aid the employee’s career and personal development goals. Offer training and other developmental resources to help them learn new skills, develop new competencies, take on bigger responsibilities and remain sharp at work. Also give them opportunities to flex newly learned skills/knowledge so as to aid their career trajectory. Encourage continuous learning among your team members, as it’s a win-win for both the employee and the company, so make it part of your team strategy.

Photograph: Freepik 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz

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