We are all purpose-driven beings. We want to know that we are making a positive difference in the lives of others.
Many employees do not see the connection between their daily tasks and the big picture. As a leader, one of your primary responsibilities is to help your staff clearly see that connection.
Dave Ramsey, whose company helps people get out of debt, lets his shipping department know they are not just shipping training materials, they are shipping hope.
Medtronic, a manufacturer of medical devices, lets its staff on the manufacturing floor hear testimonies from patients about how their products save lives.
As a leader, how can you do this on a practical level?
Let me give you 3 vocational examples:
1. COMPANY RECEPTIONIST
Company receptionists may think that their job is just to have visitors sign-in and to transfer calls, but it is much more important than that as receptionists are often a client’s first impression of the company. As a leader, it is your duty to relay this to your receptionist.
2. HOUSEKEEPER IN HEALTHCARE
Many housekeepers may think that their job of cleaning toilets and making beds is rather mundane. But like receptionists, housekeepers serve a much larger purpose in healthcare as they help prevent hospital-acquired infections by keeping the room clean and germ-free. Housekeepers play an important part in the patient's healing. Again, it is the leader's job to relate the housekeeper’s duties to the big picture.
3. PRINT AND COPY ASSOCIATE
I bring my training materials to Staples for printing and copying. The print and copy associates’ work is a reflection on my business and me. If done well—and it usually is—the person who produced the work is actually helping me succeed in the marketplace. Before training a new employee on the mechanics of printing and copying, a great leader tells new team members that they are helping others succeed by doing their job excellently.
According to Gallup, the management-consulting group, one of the 12 key employee engagement questions is "Do I feel my job is important?”
Does your staff have a sense of purpose in their work? Or do they feel like hamsters on a wheel? Do you regularly let your team know the 'why' behind what they do?