There really is a universal truth regarding the power of giving. We’ve all heard the cliches about it being better to give than receive and tons of anecdotal tales by countless persons citing the same. Our own experiences reinforce this truth when we volunteer our time or write a check if time is too scarce. Most organizations have some charity they support or have social responsibility as part of their corporate charters. Still, few companies actually tap into our basic human need to give something back or be part of something meaningful at work. Those activities are left as a hobby or after work extracurricular activity. The same is true for our schools where students can gain extra credit for these extracurricular events.
According to Forbes, Gallup and other polls, the number of unhappy workers is often greater than the number of happy or satisfied workers… and this is true around the world, not just in the United States. We know there are multiple factors that contribute to dissatisfaction from lack of communication or expectation clarity to lack of tools and praise. In this mix also however is a lack of connection to Mission. Regardless of industry, geography, skill level or salary, nearly all workers want to be doing something that is meaningful and they want to be appreciated.
So is there a potential correlation between happiness at work and the opportunity to give something back or be doing something meaningful? Something to consider…
Within healthcare the number of persons who tie work happiness to giving back increases dramatically. Yet despite this many leaders forget or simply disregard the need for any emotional connection to work. Organizations exist because they DO something. A job requires some action for it to be completed. People have jobs to work. Nothing more. How many times have you heard that? But who said ‘work’ had to be only that? Who made the rule that your job didn’t need to be fun or meaningful?
Imagine the impact if you and your co-workers and staff, your leaders, and all involved in your organization adopted a Service-First mission making that your reason for ‘doing.’ Have you ever considered that if you are working, you are in fact serving SOMEone? Consider the untapped potential that could result if all your staff suddenly were engaged, enthusiastic, and felt an emotional connection between the work they did and the company’s success. As a leader, part of your job is to motivate your staff to improve. How do you do that with increasing quotas and decreasing budgets?
Try introducing a Service-First goal and watch what happens.
Despite any jokes or sarcasm that may erupt in the beginning, the silent cheers will exceed those boisterous few particularly if the message is delivered with sincerity. Then watch your team’s productivity and satisfaction levels. The results may surprise you.