By Dr Lindsay McMillan
A recent report from the World Economic Forum has brought back some startling statistics on professionals and the meaning of work.
A 2013 Harvard Business Review survey found 12,000 professionals felt their job had no “meaning and significance” and a 2015 British poll found 37 per cent thought their job was “utterly useless”.
Now let’s fast-forward to 2016 and to Australia – after taking the pulse of 1,000 workers, global HR think-tank Reventure found 72 per cent of workers are looking for more purpose and meaning at work.
While there are robust workplace debate currently being undertaken in Australia – they do not address the core problem.
The debate around the four-day work week and penalty rates signals while important does not tackle the age-old question of why people should turn up to work each day.
Our latest report showed 77 per cent of millennials are looking for purpose and meaning in work. We need solutions that address these changes and we are hoping today’s announcement sparks conversation on how to respond to the big challenges, innovatively and proactively.
a future that works’ six steps to build a culture of Purpose and Meaning are:
1. Foster Employee Participation and Inclusion
A culture of respect and valuing employees can be generated and sustained by the simple act of inclusion.
2. Communicate the Alignment between Individual Roles and Organisational Goals
Leaders need to be able to identify and articulate the way in which an individual employee’s role contributes to the achievement of the common purpose.
3. Encourage Autonomy and Active Engagement
After there has been a clear identification and articulation of purpose, workers should be afforded a high degree of autonomy to carry out their role and make an active decision to work towards this vision.
4. Provide Resources and Information
To increase autonomy, employees should have all the information and resources they require to effectively do their job.
5. Serve a Greater Purpose
While an altruistic outcome is not a requirement for developing meaningfulness, this is a recommended addition to help maximise the update of purpose among workers.
6. Reinforcing Engagement
Actively implementing these strategies will result in higher levels of engagement, and may be reinforced through incentivisation that is not only linked to financial outcomes, but measures of application and alignment. This can be achieved through career construction and job crafting.