Lette van der Ham | 25 January 2019
So, how do we tackle this issue? Purely focusing on the fact that people don’t see the purpose in their jobs, we could state that giving it reason (again) will go a long way. Or at least move us in the right direction. When we see the purpose of the work we’re doing, it becomes more rewarding and enjoyable. What we value in our lives - what we hold as important - plays a central role in this.
Principles that we find desirable, important or even essential in our lives, are what we would call our core values. If what you do is in line with these values, your actions produce satisfaction and a sense of fulfilment. But if there is a misalignment between our actions and values, this can cause us to feel miserable. For example: when autonomy is high on your agenda, but you work in an environment where your manager is constantly lurking over you - it’s highly likely you won’t feel happy. However, when you’re given responsibility and trust in doing your job, this will result in a sense of happiness.
Our personal core values - reflections of what we care most about in life - can be narrowed down to the following (work related) types:
Our values act as a compass for who we are and how we act. Ignoring this compass can lead to a lot of frustration or discomfort at work. It can feel like something just isn’t right. On the longer term, working in an environment that goes against our core values can lead to serious health issues both mentally and physically. Many people burnt out at work because they have been trying to fit their square-shaped values in round shapes, not just because they have been working extremely long hours.
In contrast, if we possess a clear sense of our values and act according to them, we are able to set course. When people work in a role that fulfils their needs, they experience higher levels of job satisfaction and their productivity rises. We not only stay healthier, it also has benefits for the organisation as it leads to a positive work culture and, ultimately, better business results.
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