How to Make Work More Meaningful?

Encouraging meaning at work offers numerous organizational and individual benefits.

How can an organization develop higher performance, increased satisfaction and self-confidence, as well as greater perseverance and self-motivated skills development? Which set of conditions must be met? Employees must first have clarity in terms of what is expected of them and how to invest their energy effectively towards these goals. We call this the Intellectual Quotient (IQ) – preferably high. Secondly, employees require pleasant and constructive interpersonal exchanges (colleagues, clients, etc.). We call this the Emotional Quotient (EQ) – again ideally high. Finally, employees need meaning in their everyday work. We call this the Meaning Quotient (MQ) – the higher the better.

How do we define “meaning” at work? This notion of sense of purpose implies grasping how what is happening at work has not been done previously, truly matters and/or contributes to making a difference to others. It may be reached through the 3 actionable techniques :

  1. Telling 5 stories to reach all employees, according to their sensitivities. In addition to recounting 1) past turnaround or good-to-great stories about the company, demonstrate also how the organization is contributing towards 2) society at large, 3) its customers, 4) internal team spirit and finally 5) individual employees’ interests.
  2. Investigating what story content resonates most, by listening to employees. Indeed, they will be far more committed to the outcome if they had their say from the start.
  3. Using surprising, unexpected and non-monetary rewards, not necessarily tied to positive financial performance indicators. Small, but appreciated tokens of gratitude go a long way when not anticipated. Full article: McKinsey.com

When assessing and developing managerial skills for the past 20 years, Vicario Consulting has always placed a strong emphasize on respectful and effective communication, as well as emotional intelligence. Read more