You may have heard a lot about how we should make work more meaningful, and this I think is important. The past year has created a lot of uncertainty that we may not have had before, and this in itself creates this fear because we want to keep our jobs. This can cause people to stay in roles that they might not exactly enjoy. However, what if we could change our perspective and alter the way we see our current role to make work more meaningful?
Why make work more meaningful?
When I say we should make work more meaningful I mean ensuring that the work you do matters to your overall objective. This could be to a company as a whole, to yourself or a team, to the community, whatever it is we as humans seek meaning and purpose within our everyday life. Of course the meaning is specific to you as an individual, and what is meaningful to you might not be to another.
Meaningful work is important because, it provides us with a sense of fulfilment and purpose and this in turn provides us with a psychological sense of well-being. As a result, this meaningful work floods every other aspect of our life which contributes to our overall sense of purpose in life.
Today I want to share with you how you can make work more meaningful today.
Have a clear idea of how the organisation functions
One way to make work more meaningful is to understand how your organisation functions but also what your place in that organisation is. If you understand your own strengths and abilities and how you can support the organisation’s mission then this can improve your work.
When you feel engaged in the work that you do then this is when you will make work more meaningful. However, the organisation should also in turn understand how it can make a positive impact on the community and it’s teams too.
Think about values and motives
You will value your work more if it aligns with your own core motives and values, and this will make work more meaningful for you.
This is why when you are looking for jobs you need to look into the work culture and think how it fits with you. The same thing applies when a company/organisation is looking for a new employee. It should not always be about who is the most experienced but also who is a good fit for the company/organisation. This will also help you to be able to connect more with your employees too as their values will match your own.
Values are like an inner compass that help us to assign meaning to our world, and so if these match an organisation then this will make work more meaningful.
Trust and control
I think we can all agree to some extent that having a manager that is controlling and overpowering does not give you a sense of motivation that we all crave. Instead this can drain you and make you feel worthless, and let’s be honest who would want to work in an environment like that?
By trusting employees you are giving individuals room to learn, grow and improve and this helps people mould into their roles. This in turn makes the employee feel more important and helps make work more meaningful to them.
Regular constructive feedback
I personally feel it is so important to be in a company that will give you constructive feedback regularly. For example, my current manager and myself have two 1-to-1 meetings a week (because I am still fairly new) and this is for him to update me on anything or for me to ask questions etc, but he also always gives me feedback. This could be from others that have emailed him about me, or maybe from something I have done that my manager wants to tell me about. My manager also let’s me know if I need to do anything differently or reminds me to do tasks that I forget.
By having this regular feedback it gives me a sense of purpose and motivation that I can do this role even if I am still new. But also it helps me make work more meaningful because I can do this role and I am getting that feedback to prove this.
In addition, having those conversations with your team or manager builds that relationship of trust and honesty. Therefore, this can make you feel open to discuss anything you may need to, and plays a huge role in your growth and development.
Think about the big picture
By this I mean think about why your job might exist and how this has an impact on society. Most jobs are here to make the world easier and a better place.
If you are constantly just focused on the tasks in front of you maybe take a step back and think about how all the work you do in your role contributes to the community as a whole. This can give you a completely different perspective and sometimes make you appreciate your role and what you do. Therefore, this can make work more meaningful.
For example, HR managers help people progress in their careers and find jobs, and as a blogger you might contribute to educating others about topics, raising awareness, supporting small businesses or even just helping someone escape for a little while in your words.
We all know by now that hard work equals success (well for most people). You might think how can hard work make work more meaningful? Well if when you work hard you become more successful then that is pretty meaningful to me. When I talk about successful I don’t mean earning tons of money. It could be successful in a way that a team hit a deadline, or you finished a project. Success is different in many ways, but it all contributes to make work more meaningful.
In addition, we all know that when we are on top of our work we just feel great and our stress levels are lowered. However, sometimes we think that we have too much work on, we are overburdened and this can cause us to stress. With this I say take a step back for a minute and think about what tasks you have on and just have that conversation with a manager (or yourself) about what tasks can you prioritise right now and what ones can you leave until you finish the others.
There you have it how you can make work more meaningful today! Remember that sometimes we just need reminding of why we do the job that we do, and that just requires taking a step back. Or even just taking a break to think about your values (and these can change) and this will help you make work more meaningful.
Also think about how your job is meaningful outside of the job. For example, your job might fund your lifestyle or you being able to travel to places. Everything in our life goes hand and hand and it is important to think about all aspects of our life.
Do you enjoy your job? Are you looking into making it more meaningful, or are you looking into a new career?
Thanks for reading,
Gemma Jayne x