Studies show that today’s workers — while attracted to salary and benefits — are also drawn to companies where they feel as though they’re doing meaningful work.
In this respect, organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Habitat for Humanity have it easy. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how providing medical care and housing for the less fortunate should be viewed by almost everyone as meaningful work.
But what about the zillions of other companies out there? How can the copywriter who’s writing about data center infrastructure actually feel like they’re changing the world for the better? What about the accountant who’s just crunching numbers for a faceless corporation all day?
Every company is different, but there are some underlying methods you can try that should help your employees start believing the work they are doing is actually making a difference. Here are five of them:
01. Compliment them on their successes
Studies show that employee recognition efforts go a long way toward improving employee happiness and engagement, which in turn fosters a strong, collaborative culture and increased productivity. Take time out of your day on a regular basis to compliment your employees on a job well done. Even the most tedious work is still meaningful if people appreciate it.
02. Seek out their feedback, ideas, and advice
Employees who feel as though they have at least some semblance of ownership of their company are more likely to feel their work is meaningful. Solicit ideas and feedback from your staff often. Implement the best ideas to prove to your workers that you’re impressed by their efforts to the point you’re willing to change your company because of them.
03. Encourage employees to recognize their coworkers
Recognition doesn’t always have to come from the top down. When you create a supportive culture, employees will be more inclined to congratulate their coworkers on a job well done. You can even use an employee recognition platform to facilitate this behavior.
04. Support professional development
Career growth is very important to employees of all ages, but it is important to millennials in particular. According to our Engagement Report, only 25% of employees believe their organizations offer enough opportunities for professional development. So make professional development a top priority at yours. Encourage your senior-level staffers to take some rookies under their wings. At the very least, it’s meaningful to help other people become better versions of themselves while acquiring new managerial and coaching skills.
05. Volunteer as a group and give back to the community
Even if a job isn’t the most rewarding one in the universe, your employees can still find their work meaningful by the way your company manages its affairs. For example, you can set aside one day a month — or even one a quarter — to give back to the community. Giving your employees to an opportunity to help the less fortunate on a regular basis will make them feel like their work is meaningful.