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Helping Your Employees to Engage

Yesterday I had two good train experiences. En route to London by train the guard / train manager (don’t know what they’re called) not only added a few facts to his official announcements which made the journey more interesting, but also having found out I was headed for Euston he offered me some helpful and accurate advice as regards changing trains so I could get there faster.

On my way back after delivering the workshop I noticed the bloke at Tottenham Court Road was doing his public announcements in a spoof 1940s “more tea, vicar?” type accent. I’ve heard him before I think and he made me smile then. Given that London was being lashed with storms and rain at the time, there was flooding and all sorts of transport problems across the network I was grateful for the light relief.

Rush hour transport isn’t normally much fun, so thank you to both of you for giving a lift to my day.

It’s funny isn’t it that some people can be well-paid and work in comfortable conditions but still feel disconnected and unhappy, while others can work in far more difficult conditions and yet feel fulfilled? Part of the answer is having a sense of purpose. Both the gentlemen I have mentioned are doing their jobs, with a little twist that makes it more purposeful for them and arguably a better experience for the service user.

Purpose is created by the job holder. It doesn’t just arrive out of the blue. How can you encourage your team members to build a sense of purpose?

  • Let them see and understand the value of the service they perform. For example, teachers can visualise the impact on the young lives they are shaping. Corporate accountants can connect themselves mentally to the larger work of their employer and take pride and purpose in the customers they help.
  • The happiest workers “create” the work they want to do and which they find meaningful out of their day-to-day tasks. They focus on adding excellence in service to others and adapt their jobs to suit that purpose. They enhance their assigned work to be meaningful to themselves and to those they serve.
  • Workers with a strong sense of purpose invest in positive relationships. Who we work with is as important as what we do. Happiness and even financial success are tied to the warmth of one’s relationships. Encourage employees to focus on building strong and positive relationships. For example, they could take the time to reflect on a new colleague each day, trying to understand him or her and why they might feel grateful to have the opportunity to work with them. Efforts to enhance the positive relationships you have with others at work — often investing in serving them — can give work greater meaning.

Being purposeful is a mindset, a choice. It’s something that must be consciously pursued and created. With the right approach, almost any job can be meaningful.

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Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this blog, nothing herein should be construed as giving advice and no responsibility will be taken for inaccuracies or errors.

Copyright © 2018 all rights reserved. You may copy or distribute this blog as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author are attached. The author is Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting Ltd.

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