“I have the best job ever!” Can your employees say that? From an employer’s perspective, a company full of happily motivated employees is a dream. Satisfied employees are more productive and produce better quality work than the grumblers. What is it that moves an average employee performing average tasks to a high performer that exceeds all expectations? About a year ago, I read a book entitled “The Three Signs of a Miserable Job” by Patrick Lencioni. I was encouraged to read this book by a mentor since I was rather new to managing employees. Mr. Lencioni suggests three things that limit the success of employees: irrelevance, immeasurement and anonymity. The first and last are the main issues that hinder high performance from employees. Overcoming those two issues can remove the obstacles to the best job ever.
If employees don’t understand how their work fits into the organization (irrelevance), their job and the time spent at it becomes meaningless. It becomes a means to a paycheck. It becomes a daily drudgery. That means that as a manager, I need to consistently provide activities for my employees that are meaningful and engaging. But more than that, I have to show them how the entire organization depends on the successful accomplishment of those tasks. As a payroll industry veteran, it is apparent that not everyone understands the importance of this idea. When do most people contact their payroll representative? Only when there is a problem! An employer needs to show each employee how he/she fits into the organization, and, how everyone else is an integral part of the process.
Secondly, if employees don’t feel understood or needed (anonymous), then there is no connection to the organization to make them want to do quality work. This reminds me of the idea of buyer’s remorse. Over the years, I have made many purchases with my hard earned money after which I had this sinking feeling that I made a huge mistake. When you only make $10 per hour (before taxes by the way), a $50 item costs almost an entire day’s work. The after-purchase evaluation left me feeling empty and unfulfilled. The same goes for employees that feel like no one knows them. Each day is empty and unfulfilling. As a manager, it is incumbent upon me to understand the way my employees think so I can better interact and relate to them. The old saying goes, “we aren’t human doings, we are human beings.” Learning to value the people around me has changed the way I view those individuals.
“Nothing carries meaning. People carry meaning. We are the porters of importance” says Jarod Kintz, a very unique online author. Anything I say as an employee affects the attitude of everyone who works with me. My goal as an employee and a manager is to:
- See the big picture of what the company is trying to accomplish
- Communicate and support the mission of the company
- Treat those around me and their ideas with respect
- Make wherever I’m at “The Best Job Ever!”