If you are a leader – and, certainly if you are a leader with a strong performance orientation – you understand that employees are, first and foremost, human beings.
I align with those who say that for us humans, the single most important thing is to find and create meaning in life, in what we do.
One great voice here is that of Viktor Frankl, and if you have not yet seen the video clip where he speaks about Man’s Search for Meaning, please do:
Apparently, we leaders become less and less good at providing meaning for our colleagues/employees. Increasingly, employees will not accept a work life with a paycheck but without meaning. They do not see themselves as a production asset in the money-making corporate unit, and they will not be told they “should be motivated” or “should find work meaningful” – if they don’t.
A critical question now is, “How do we as leaders and colleagues create, and allow for the creation of, meaning at the work place?”
Some great reads for inspiration and guidance in this respect are “Beyond Performance” and “Unboss” (see section “Bøger” under “Brainfood” on this website).
Also, the concept of Emotional Connection is worth an investigation. The Business Connection Model ™ (Barlow & Stewart) illustrates the importance of meaning, shared values and attitudes in the critical mix that creates engaged, high performance cultures by providing clear guidance to everyone in the business by answering the questions that matter most:
- What are we aiming for?
- How are we going do it?
- What’s my role in making it all happen?
- How are we doing?
- Are we serious or is this just another strategy document that ends up in a drawer? Values that are just a poster on a wall?
Think about it.
What is the single most important thing you can change in the way you lead, in order to create, or allow for the creation of, meaning by your employees?
And – how about meaning for yourself?