Leaders set the tone for their organisations. Leaders make choices and investments that determine how organisations work. Leaders model what others follow. Sometimes, employees consciously choose to follow their leader’s intentional directives; other times the leader’s behaviour provides discussions about what is permitted or expected. When leaders focus on meaning-making activities, employees more readily sense that their experience at work matters to someone and that their contribution is valued.
Leaders at all levels can help make meaning happen.
Competitive organisations that are socially responsible and make people feel good, but only serve customers and investors, should not and will not survive. We don’t have to rely on a social conscience to justify spending time building meaning.
Research compellingly suggests that MEANING MAKING for employees can be MONEY MAKING for the company. Employees who find meaning in their work have more positive attitudes, which in turn predict not only employee retention but also customer attitudes and shareholders confidence.
If managers are serious about sustained financial success, they will attend to the creation of meaning. We suggest also leadership depth, talent processes and …. employee meaning.
Individual competencies (ability to do the work) and commitment (willingness to do the work) are sustained and leveraged when employees see how their work makes a genuine contribution to people and causes the y care about, finding meaning in the work they accomplish.