First in a series
The workplace is in crisis.
Workers are not engaged. Productivity is down. Morale is low. Many employees obviously don’t see the point of what they, or their employer, are doing.
How can a business turn the tide of employee dissonance?
How can it become fit for a future that’s bound to be more competitive, complex, and commoditized?
How can it connect with people who are no longer blindly accepting corporate propaganda — people who are more “we” than “me” focused? People who are more discerning about the ideas, products, and brands they buy into, the businesses they buy from, and the companies for whom they work?
Tomorrow’s most successful businesses will have shifted their workplace to a more meaningful employee engagement platform. Using meaning as a springboard, these winners will have built places in which people want to work, are proud to work, and excel at their work.
What makes something meaningful
In the course of a day, our senses open us up to millions of stimuli, each of which presents itself and demands our attention. To cope with the avalanche of input, our system quickly decides which stimuli are significant enough to be acknowledged, and which are so significant that they must be remembered.
In other words, our system decides what matters — and what doesn’t.
The stimuli we remember can be significant in two ways. On a primal level, some of our memories help us survive against danger. On a higher-order level, some of our memories are cherished because they are relevant and emotionally important to us. These memories are meaningful because they directly connect us to what we hold to be important: our needs, beliefs, interests, and aspirations.
When something remembered is meaningful to us, it resides with one foot in our brain and one in our heart. When a situation provokes us, we rapidly bring the memory to mind as a thought wrapped in emotion.
Being meaningful – the key to engaged employees
The resulting feeling often spurs us to action and re-engagement with the source of the memory. Assuming the second experience is in the same vein as the first, there is a compounding effect that makes the memory even more meaningful.
For a business looking to better engage its employees, being meaningful by doing things that matter is the key to being cared about enough to be remembered and cherished.
Creating a meaningful workplace is about establishing a high-order connection with employees and benefiting from the compounding effect that comes from a constant stream of meaningful experiences tied directly to the needs, beliefs, interests, and aspirations of employees.