Employee satisfaction in their work relies on three factors, per the excellent book ‘3 Signs of a Miserable Job’ by Patrick Lencioni.
- Relevance. How do employee’s help improve other’s lives? These people may be customers, coworkers, or their boss. People feel fulfilled when their work has an appreciable positive impact on other people’s lives. The more you can connect their efforts to positive impact, the better. Having a culture of gratitude for their work is an important first step in relevance.
- Measurability. Can employees’s work be measured and useful feedback be provided on better ways to do the work. Key performance indicators should always be employed so that the employee can have confidence their work is satisfactory or so they know they need help. Make it clear to employees how they know they are doing a great job.
- Feeling known and understood. Most of us spend an incredible portion of our lives at work. The people and team dynamic in the workplace is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL. Team members must care about one another. The key to caring about one another is first to know about one another. This kicks off early in one’s introduction to the company by ensuring they are properly introduced and welcomed to the team. They should not have to earn the respect of the team, they should have it because they were hired. They should feel that their team and manager care personally about their success and the influential factors in their life.
Consider the flip side of these three points.
How are people to be motivated to sacrifice, in any way, if they feel their work is unnecessary or trivial? This goes for senior executives to burger flippers (thank you!)
How can great performance be expected if it is not defined? After all, don’t we need to inspect what we expect?
What kind of company culture will shallow relationships produce? Will people stay late to help one another solve problems? will people readily admit mistakes if they don’t feel valued? How quickly will the motivated be thinking about how they can start a business to do this on their own?
Know your people. Communicate their relevance to everyone in the company and customers and create systems to affirm great contribution. Create objective standards and track performance while providing regular feedback and mentorship.