Designing Work That People Love
Aneesh and Amal had it all – wonderful personal lives and promising careers. But as time passed by, it became clear their professional paths took different turns. Aneesh poured his heart into his work, while Amal struggled to find fulfillment. Going through an Assessment, revealed that Aneesh had a sense of purpose in what he was doing, while Amal was going through the motions called ‘JOB’. The Organization and he worked together to reignite Amal’s passion and devise strategies to spark joy in his work life. With newfound clarity, Amal’s approach to work-life changed resulting in greater satisfaction and engagement in his work. With this, Amal and Aneesh continued to achieve in their respective workplace and personal space.
Work with Love is demonstrated through the Passion with which one works. It is the joy one experiences with what one is doing. It has to go well beyond “Fun at Workplace” that many organizations, especially in the Human Capital centered businesses like the BPOs & KPOs adopted a couple of decades back. It resulted in some of them hiring Fun Executives or Entertainment In-Charges, sadly misreading engagement as entertainment activities. This reinforces the idea of moving away from a transactional approach to work and towards a transformational one. Especially when employee retention & engagement have become critical differentiators for successful organizations, setting them apart from those who struggle to succeed and are often referred to as “the also-rans”.
How can organizations cultivate “Work with Love” ethos ?
Based on recent research, 94% of employees felt that love for their work was either – very important (47%) or important (47%). They said, love is a core human need and if it is important in life, why wouldn’t it also be important in the workplace?
To stem this tide, as well as to solve today’s emerging talent problem, here are a few ways organizations can reimagine a workplace on a fundamental principle – fostering a love for the work.
1. The Power of Putting People First:
Businesses prioritize uniformity and efficiency over the unique needs of their employees. But if we flip the paradigm, in a Work + Love organization, employees are viewed as the beating heart of the company.
And it starts with onboarding itself, where the focus is on finding the right fit, not just the right skills. And benefits go beyond retention – when employees feel a sense of purpose, they perform better, are more engaged, and are more resilient in the face of challenges. When organizations understand the power of putting employees first, they value individuals for who they are, not just what they can do, and strive to create an environment that promotes personal growth, learning, and fulfillment from the very start.
2. Brain & Heart Integration :
In a world where cookie-cutter approaches to work are the norm, love-based organizations stand out by recognizing each employee’s brain is a one-of-a-kind wonder. They understand that designing work that employees are passionate about requires taking the time to truly know them.
Through innovative tools like Assessment & Development Centers, Strengths Finder, and various Psychometrics organizations can uncover the unique talents and passions of their employees. However, it’s not enough to simply discover these qualities, the real need is to be willing to jointly work to design roles around it within the structure. This is an endeavor of creating passion in work, by integrating the needs of what the employee brings to the table with what the organization has to offer to her/him. When they join hands in the pursuit of integrating brain & heart, employers establish a workplace that fulfills not only the requirements of the business, but also promotes a culture of respect, support, and collaboration, with a highly engaged employee who finds love in working.
3. Art of Mentoring :
As Steven Spielberg, a Famous American writer-director-producer said, mentoring someone is not about molding them into your own image, but giving them the chance to create themselves. And what better place to do this than in a workplace that values growth and development ?
Imagine a workplace that is more than just a source of income for employees but a place where they can learn, grow, and thrive. The atmosphere is charged with excitement as organizations optimize their training programs, provide interactive coaching, and create structured opportunities for employees to engage and learn. Managers regularly meet with each team member to offer guidance and support as they work towards their individual development goals. This type of workplace fosters a journey of self-discovery and growth for every employee, making them feel passionate and deeply committed to their role. Such a Workplace has less issues of work-life Balance, burn-outs, and challenges of creating an urge in employees to contribute.
4. Balancing Freedom & Limitations :
A world where employees wake up every morning excited to go to work, feeling fulfilled in their roles, can be hard to believe! But, this utopian scenario can only become a reality if employers understand the sweet spot of freedom & limitations in job design.
Employees are aware that tweaking their job to better suit one’s strengths can lead to greater love, but often fail, either due to lack of know-how or because no business emphasizes the importance of doing so. By first identifying the key outcomes for each role and then allowing employees the flexibility to modify their tasks within those parameters can ensure that a balance is struck between these two factors. Believing in fostering creativity, innovation & growth, while also providing the structure & necessary support, employers ultimately drive collective growth & success.
5. One Culture Fits Everyone :
Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb said, Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with passion. Many leaders may scratch their heads when they try to figure out how to make their employees love their jobs? But the secret sauce in creating a love+work culture, doesn’t lie in the specific tasks or responsibilities of their job, but in the atmosphere and organizational ethos.
By fostering open communication, setting clear goals, establishing psychological safety, permission to experiment without retribution, showing appreciation and offering rewards, recognizing individual needs and providing space to fulfill them, promoting work-life balance, encouraging collaborative working and living by values, a love+work culture can be sculpted. Change initiatives based on organizational diagnosis can help improve the overall ethos of the organization. When employees feel valued, supported, and motivated, employers can transform any job into a playground that they can’t wait to visit every day.
LOVE + WORK = Personal, Professional, Organizational Success
With more synaptic connections in each human brain, than there are stars in 5,000 Milky Ways, it’s no wonder that employers who design the job and employees who hold the job can have vastly different ways of thinking and feeling. While most individuals aspire to find a job that they are passionate about, most employees eventually become disenchanted with their work and lose hope in the possibility of truly loving their profession. For an organization that values its employees, it’s important to recognize this fact and build its practices accordingly. When employees feel valued and empowered, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work, leading to better performance and outcomes. The recipe lies in jointly exploring the Purpose behind ‘why is what’ one is doing and connecting it with one’s core and aligning it with “Raison d’etre” of the Organisation.
Ultimately, the equation of LOVE + WORK = Personal, Professional, Organizational Success is a powerful one. When organizations prioritize love for work and respect for their employees, they design a workplace that fosters growth, innovation, and success for all.