May 17, 2022

The Non-Negotiables of Job Nirvana

Do what you love, with people you want to work with, in a place you want to be. While this has always been sound advice to help someone find happiness in their job and career, common sense and common knowledge are not always common practice. Now more than ever, in our post-2020 world, these words matter. Purpose matters. People matter. Place matters. These are not listed in rank order, and one is not more or less important than the other. In the ideal state of job nirvana, they are all positively present and non-negotiable. They are a three-part harmony, and if one is absent, things will feel out of tune. Today, most people are making sure all three boxes are checked, or they move on to another career opportunity.

In the continuing saga of The Great Resignation, companies can respond by heightening their focus on employee engagement and helping employees feel supported in purpose, people and place. Team members and leaders alike can create positive impact. Regardless of job title or job description, you help shape the experience of other team members. The key is connection. How can you make a difference?

  • Be the job they love. Connect with team members about the importance of their work and take interest in what they do. Acknowledge the unique skills, knowledge, experience and perspective they bring to their job. Have thoughtful conversations about what they enjoy doing and what they look forward to every day. Nurture the joy they feel in doing their job and fuel the pride they feel in doing it well. Employees are more engaged in their work when they know what to do, how to do it and why it matters. They feel more confident and competent when they have the right resources, tools and training they need to be successful. They will love what they do if they feel respected, supported, empowered and trusted.
  • Be the people they want to work with. Connect with team members early and often in meaningful ways and take interest in them. Be genuine and kind in your interactions. Be present and listen to understand. Be caring and compassionate. Be inclusive and collaborative. Be helpful and share your unique experiences and knowledge to help others navigate. The list goes on – simply put, be human. We know that more often than not, employees choose to leave their current job because of their leader, not the company; however, all employees play a critical role in creating an engaging, enjoyable and welcoming work environment. You can help create a sense of team belonging and the psychological safety that allows others to bring their authentic selves to work. Be someone who others are inspired and motivated by and want to be around.
  • Be the place they want to be. People have always sought purpose in their own work, but it’s become more common place (no pun intended) to seek purpose in the company they work for. Inside the company, connect with team members through the core values that bring life to the mission statement and core purpose – give them reasons to stay. Outside the company, in the communities you work and live in, be an ambassador and walk the talk – give people reasons to join.

For many, the events of the past two years have been a time of great reflection and reevaluation. In what seems like unprecedented times, it has kept companies on high alert and proven the power of pursuit for those seeking purpose, people and place. Likewise, companies have a great opportunity and shared responsibility to collectively create a climate of belonging – where employees feel connected to the work they are doing, the people they are working with and the company they are working for. What will you do today to make the difference?