It's not surprising that research shows we are motivated when we are in control of our decisions. At work, we have to pass this control over to our managers. Giving away our autonomy drains us of our motivation and many become disengaged with their work. Considering people do their best work when they feel in control of their career path, it makes sense to guide employees through their decisions rather than to decide for them.
Managing employees can be tough, but in order to be an effective leader, it's essential to foster an environment where employees can find purpose at work and build trust with others through their performance.
You can help them find purpose with autonomy over their work by opening the door to opportunities where they can direct their own work. Have a chat with your employees and find out what areas of their work they are passionate about or where they would like to explore further. Once an appropriate opportunity arises in this area encourage them to take charge of the project with you as a guide if they need support.
challenges and growth
New challenges help us grow in all aspects of our life. Considering we spend most of our time at work, it's important that we are pushed out of our comfort zone so that we may develop our skills.
If a more complex project or task arises that one of your employees may be interested in, assign them that task. They might feel unsure in their abilities at first. Encourage them to overcome their self-criticism and provide the support they need to deliver their best work. Having this opportunity to grow and learn within your company will help your employees feel a sense of purpose and your business will advance and grow too.
Another way to provide opportunities for growth is to provide training and development resources, whether they be online or peer-to-peer classes.
Eighty-seven percent of millennials and 69% of non-millennials rate “professional or career growth and development opportunities” as important to them in a job - Gallup.
Beyond the acquisition of new skills and techniques make an honest attempt to find out where your employee wants to be in 2 years or five years. Whether that's additional responsibility, transfer into a different role at your organization or progression towards a leadership position such as management. If such a progression is possible within your organizational structure, create a plan with your employee on how you can work together to achieve those goals. Set definite milestones and discuss progress on them with regular one to ones.
Recognise employees day-to-day efforts
A vital part of giving your employees purpose at work is feedback. Let employees in on how their day-to-day performance matters greatly to the goals of the company.
You can discuss employee performance and give recognition in regular one to ones or annual reviews. Show them KPI's and revenue reports that showcase how their performance contributed to the company mission and effected ROI.
Recognising employees as a valuable member of your organisation assures them that their role provides meaning and purpose.
'Of workers who were recognised in the last six months, 93% agree their work has meaning and purpose, while only 72% of workers who were not recognised say the same is true.' - Globoforce study.