Monday 22 September 2014

Your work is not your job

If we accept mountains of research findings job satisfaction is at an all time low and employee engagement isn’t improving despite years of trying and investing billions of dollars.

I am actually starting to question the intention of the research findings into such matters. The sceptic in me says like the nightly news do we keep highlighting what's bad so as to maintain our ratings?

I have long said that job satisfaction and employee engagement are outcomes of how we see and treat people. Such outcomes shouldn't be driving us. Treating people as they expect to be treated should be driving us.

While reflecting on this article about job satisfaction I had a light-bulb moment. When scooping the article via I commented as follows:

"Perhaps the real problem is jobs. People have to complete tasks (jobs) as a part of their roles. The key to satisfaction in roles is relationships.

Stop thinking about your jobs. Think about your role/s and who you're delivering value to which is the purpose of all roles. Ask them how you're doing. As a consequence you may have to change how you do your jobs!"

Could it be that your work is not your job?

Your work I suggest is to deliver value to other people, value that they demand, desire, and feel that they deserve. A key to delivering such value is the relationships you have with the people you're delivering value to.

Relationships and tasks (jobs) are two sides of a coin. They need to operate in harmony with one another. Your real work I suggest is the relationship side of the equation. Tasks (jobs) are what you do to fulfill the agreed requirements of your relationships.

I believe that a key aspect of the new world of work, one that is fast replacing the old, means dispensing with job descriptions and replacing them with role clarity statements.

Yesterday I completed a number of jobs around our home. Many I didn't enjoy. I did them because there is a bigger purpose at stake, that of enhancing my relationship with my wife, my neighbours, and my own enjoyment.

In my work I estimate that about 20% of the time I don't enjoy the jobs. They are necessities, part of my work, yet not my work. My real and rewarding work is adding value to existing relationships and forever building and growing relationships of high value and mutual reward.

Your work is not your job. What say you?

Be the difference you want to see in the world.

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