If you are a business owner or a manager, you understand that most employees tend to think of work as something they have to do or need to do to make ends meet, not something they want to do. The majority of people in the workforce consider work a necessary evil that helps them provide for their families or pay for their bills. Even people who have their dream jobs, those who are on their chosen career path, or those who love their jobs to some extent, will choose to stay at home if they had things their way.
Few people feel good about commuting to work at the crack of dawn and spending the vast majority of their waking hours away from their loved ones. This is bad news for employers who would like to get the best out of their workers. However, things dont always need to be like that. Theres some great news for you as a manager or an employerit is possible to change how people feel about their jobs for the better, and its something that you can do on your own. You can boost your staff morale by helping them find more meaning in the work they do. You can accomplish that by giving them a real mission that they can work towards.
But you may ask, why should it matter to you that your employees feel fulfilled? As long as they are performing their contractually obligated duties, why should you be concerned with their job satisfaction? As a business leader, your employees sense of fulfilment should matter to you because there is a lot of evidence indicating happy, mission-driven employees are generally high performers.
Factors that contribute to employee happiness
There are lots of factors that make employees enjoy the work they do. Employees like it when they have the autonomy to make their own decisions at work without being micromanaged. They like it when they are given the freedom to pursue their creative instincts at work. They like it when their supervisors are appreciative of the contribution that they make at work. They like it when their job allows them to have a good work-life balance. They like it when their job is related to their skill set or is within the scope of their chosen career. However, the single biggest determiner of employee happiness is how they feel about the organization that they work for. As an employer, you need to ask yourself Do my employees understand the principles that our organization stands for? and if they do, Are they then proud of what the organization represents? Unless your workers are proud of the work they are doing, they are never going to be completely happy about their jobs, and your staff morale will suffer and subsequently performance will be less than optimal. So, for you to improve morale in the workplace, you have to build employee pride.
How to make your employees proud of their jobs
All organizations are different, but every one of them can at least find something to be proud of. If yours is an organization whose business model is centred on making a difference in peoples lives, you certainly dont have to look far for your source of pride. However, if the core functions of your business arent necessarily beneficial to the surrounding community, you can involve your organization in secondary activities that benefit the society. For example, your company can take up social and environmental causes as a way of helping the planet and giving back to the community.
After you have identified what it is that your company and its employees should be proud of, make sure that they know about it, and dont ever let them forget it. In fact, you can incorporate it into your companys mission statement. A well-crafted mission statement should capture the positive impact that your company is making, and it should be able to inspire pride in the hearts of your employees. From the day they are hired to the day they leave, ensure that you instil in all your employees the values that you have articulated in your mission statement so that they are proud to say they are part of a company that does some good.