Did you know we spend about 1/3 of our life at work? No kidding. When you add up all the hours between 8-5 it’s approximately 1/3 of your life, according to Gallup. In that same research, Gallup cites that up to 25% of our overall life satisfaction comes from our work. In short we spend a lot of time at work. We want a lot in return for our work.
Let’s focus on that last sentence: we want a lot in return for our work. If you think it’s money and great benefits we want you’d be right. They, however, are not tops on our list. It’s meaning and personal development.
We want work to be meaningful. We want to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty.
We want our lives to count for something. Is it noble? Perhaps. Let me point to the opening of this post: in total we spend 1/3 of our lives working. Gulp!
Leaders, use this as a wake up call. A rallying cry to tap into this human need to make a difference. Carve out time to find out what your employees want, dream, hope for. Look for ways to help make that happen, if possible. If not, how might you encourage them?
In Linchpin one of Seth Godin’s messages that I love is that we are not cogs in a wheel:
“The system we grew up with is based on a simple formula: Do your job. Work hard, Listen to the boss. Stick it out. Be part of the system. You’ll be rewarded.”
Showing up to work just to do a job isn’t going to help the company. It isn’t going to help you make a life that counts.
As a leader, you can add meaning to the work environment. You do this through the relationships with those whom you lead and work. It’s transforming those relationships to encourage people to apply their talents. First you must know what they are.
New Era Leaders understand their employees’ passions, talents and expose them to make that 1/3 of their lives have meaning.