Meaning is the New Money . . .

As we face the heat of the Summer and Appraisals, we realize that the ozone layer is surely depleting day by day. Each year we see that at both instances the heat rises.

The aspirations of employees are surely not resting even in the slow down economy. As much as the employees understand and appreciate that the overall growth and sentiment is not the same, the cost of living and wrong habit of year on year increments is tempting them to expect more so ever this time too.

It’s unfortunate that we as Managers and HR professionals have not spent enough time in last few quarters in setting the right expectations and thereby gearing up for a possible showdown in next few months when the cat is out of the bag.

So the big question for all of us is that do we really come to office / work only for Money or there is something more deeper or meaningful. When asked to a range of employees what excites them to come to office among the following dimensions;

Work Infrastructure, Work Style of Immediate Manager, Inspirational Leadership, Values of the organization, Work Profile, Communication, Organization Trust, Brand of the Employer etc.

The answer that emerged is ‘Work Profile’. An overwhelming number of respondents shared that the biggest excitement for walking to office is Nature of the work.

So what do employees expect from their work profile, or in others what is the Meaning or Purpose of their Job

Well the answers that came up were a combination of surprise and few other things which we all are aware of, but somehow lost in last few years

-Challenge
Consistently Employees have come back and shared that they look forward to a challenging role and that is what excites them the most when it comes to Job Profile. Challenge for them is not only about stress targets but something which they have not attempted previously either in the same organization or in their career. It could be in form of new responsibility, new technology, new project etc.

-Clarity in Goals to be achieved
Surprisingly many employees shared that they would be more productive and purposeful in their approach if they were aware of what exactly is expected from them in form of tangible goals / targets. Also the fact how these goals / targets span out in form of a few quarters in advance rather than getting surprised from time to time.

-How is it Part of the Big Picture
Many of the employees seem to have a identity crisis both in terms of what are they are doing in the organization and how is their work making a difference to the overall organization growth.

As organizations grow in sheer size and across multiple geographies and time zones, the employees are often left with a feeling of being treated as just another ‘email id’ and have started not only feeling neglected but also cynical in terms of what difference they are making or can make in the overall big picture.

Many have expressed the anguish that they are not aware how their job contributes to the overall picture or how critical it is and hence they have lost the enthusiasm.

-Sense of Fulfillment and Pride
Employees also expressed a sense of delusion that their contribution was hijacked by the Likert scales at the end of the year in form of appraisal ratings which has constrains of bell curve etc.

Many shared that they have lost the sense of fulfillment & pride as everything accumulates to a rating at the end of year.

So as organizations, Managers and HR leaders we need to draw lessons from this, are we going to spend time in giving feedback and discussing issues why we cannot hike the salaries / compensation because of given economic constraints or focus our energies in explaining and sharing the purpose and contribution each one of them are making. . .

Yes it is not easy but its true; Meaning is the New Money . . .

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