Service Creates Significance

painting a doorIs your workplace dull and frustrating or productive and inspiring?

Most organizational cultures are not inspiring environments to live in or work in. Tiny HR’s 2015 Engagement and Culture Report found that 31 percent of employees feel strongly valued at work. That’s better than the 21 percent that felt strongly valued in their 2014 report.

And, it means that nearly 70 percent of employees don’t feel strongly valued at work. That’s awful.

How likely are employees to stay with their current company? This report asked respondents, “Would you leave your current job if another company offered you a 10% raise?” 25% of respondents said YES. That’s a strong indicator that employees are not satisfied with their jobs.

This report then asked respondents what gets in the way of productivity at work. 35 percent said that the biggest issue at work is their co-workers’ lack of productivity and follow through. That means leaders do not hold every team member accountable for performance. That unfairness erodes work satisfaction and contribution across the team.

When Tiny HR looked at factors with the highest positive impact on employee happiness, those with the strongest correlation – the greatest positive impact – were work environment and organizational culture!

Leaders can boost the quality of their work environment and the health of their organizational culture by making values as important as performance. By implementing my proven framework – an organizational constitution – leaders ensure their work environment treats everyone with trust, respect, and dignity.

This approach works! Engagement goes up, customer service goes up, and results and profits go up – all by 35-40 percent and more within 18 months of aligning practices to your organizational constitution.

One of the biggest benefits of implementing an organizational constitution is the clarity your team enjoys when they define their team or department or company’s present day purpose. If you ask employees in your organization today what the company’s purpose is, you’ll get answers like making money or selling widgets or processing loans or the whatever your company produces.

The problem is that making money or selling widgets isn’t naturally motivating for most team members. Sure, they want your organization to stay in business, but making money doesn’t create positive personal meaning for employees.

Serving others – as part of an organization that engages in serving others – does create positive personal meaning.

How does your team’s purpose emphasize service? It answers three questions: What does your team do? For whom does it do it? And, to what end – what benefits do your customers gain from your team’s products or services?

In essence, an effective purpose statement describes how your team’s products and services make others’ lives better.

When you shift team leader and team member thinking from “just making money” to “serving our customers,” employees are much more likely to care about the quality of their work and about the quality of their work relationships.

Service can boost employee well-being. Gallup’s 2014 Well Being Index found that adults that received recognition for community service averaged 70 points (out of 100) on the Well Being Index. Adults that did not receive recognition for community service averaged 58 points on the index.

Service to your community means many things. It includes things like generating profits so each employee can make a $300 grant to their favorite charity each year . . . Or volunteering, as a team, to serve holiday meals to the homeless . . . Or helping with a Habitats for Humanity group building a home . . . Or collecting food items or toys for the needy.

When your team’s purpose focuses on service to others, it creates deep personal meaning for employees. Work isn’t just a job – it becomes a place where “I work with valued colleagues who help me improve the quality of life for members of our community,” as one employee told me.

Make boosting the quality of your team or department or company’s culture a priority this year – and let service drive significance in the hearts of employees.

Does your team’s purpose have a “serve others” component? How strongly valued to employees feel in your organization? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo © Wendy Kaveney – Dollar Photo Club. All rights reserved.

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