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Do your employees feel a sense of meaning within your organization?
That is, do they have purpose in their jobs?
Do they feel they are making a difference?
If not, you probably have an engagement problem.
Tunnel vision in the business world
If your employees are completely bogged down in the day-to-day minutiae of work, they can’t help but lose perspective of the bigger picture.
They can only have tunnel vision.
Without an understanding of the larger picture and where they fit in, employees are only there in body. Not in mind or spirit.
Fatigued and overwhelmed, all they want to do is get through each day with a little energy left for their lives outside of work.
The lesson here: without meaning, people have no reason to be emotionally invested. And that’s bad for business.
Creating meaning in Mexico
On a related note, let me take you down south...
Every year, I volunteer my time building schools and homes for the poor in areas of Mexico.
There, I’ve learned that life in poverty is solely about survival. Many locals don’t have the luxury of time to act, let alone think, beyond the day-to-day. Many of them feel hopeless because they cannot see a different future for themselves and their families.
You can actually see this lack of hope in how they care for their home space or in the demeanour of their children.
But I have also seen first-hand how building a school or home can make a significant difference to a community.
In Vicente Guerrero, the very existence of a new school—something the community had never had before—gave locals something to aspire to. They saw all the potential outcomes of having a school: education, jobs, and being able to afford better shelter and food.
With a vision of what the future could be, that school has helped the locals look beyond the basic survival of day-to-day. Motivated by hope, the community began to transform itself.
One of my fondest memories was on day two of the school build. Many of the local mothers came to the site, each bringing one or two plants. They put the plants in the area that was the school border, marking its dimensions. I realized in that moment that they were making it theirs, adding their touch, bringing more life to the school. Those plants spoke loudly of their hope for their community by beautifying it.
What I learned over the years is that when I help in building a school or home, it’s not just about creating a physical structure: it’s also about creating meaning, purpose—and hope.
How leaders can create meaning for employees
Tying this back to the corporate world...
We at Juice have seen how creating meaning for employees can reap all sorts of rewards for our clients including:
In other words, creating meaning leads to understanding one’s purpose, and that leads to hope.
Energized by hope, your employees can become a much higher-performing workforce.
Get beyond tunnel vision
Leaders can help employees establish a deeper sense of connection within the organization by:
Armed with a stronger sense of purpose, people are able to see not only the end of the tunnel, but far beyond it.
Click here to learn how to improve employee engagement with Juice Inc’s corporate training program, Beyond Engagement.
Co-Founder of Juice Inc, Thought Leader & Author
Co-Founder of Juice Inc.
Vice President, Business Development
Business Development, Juice USA
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