The ability of your employees to engage, to work at the level of their best selves, relies on their psychological well-being at work. What that includes, among other things, is a sense of purpose and meaningfulness in one’s job, a feeling of accomplishment and of contributing to something worthwhile. This is not a big surprise, since one of the most important functions of work is that it brings a sense of purpose to people’s lives. We need to feel that what we do is meaningful and that it has value.
Surely you’ve noticed the “newbie syndrome”? Employees are all gung-ho the first three to six months, and then fall into gung-yawn for the duration of their employment. What’s happened is simple and predictable: employees’ initial passion for the job peters out as they fail to see how what they do matters. They begin to feel like interchangeable parts, pieces of a machine that can do just as well with or without them.
Leadership consultant Lolly Daskal states: “Great leaders supply strategy and clarity. They work hard to understand the big picture and help others see their team’s role, and their individual role as part of the team, within that context.”
Tell your employees how the seemingly boring tasks they’ve been assigned fit into the bigger picture. How their contribution makes a difference. Take it a step further: tell those who report to you how the experiences and skills they are gaining will serve them later on.
Be a great leader: address not only the company’s big picture in discussing the part your employees play, but your employees’ personal big work-picture as well.