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“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” Buddha

 

I have briefly explained the importance of “finding meaning at work” in my article “Add Value to Your Workday”. Actually, I think that, this is the most important factor to feel engaged at work. Seeing the bigger purpose of all our efforts enables us to feel happier in our lives as well.

In the company that I work, ISS, we use a development program to help establishing this: The Apple Program. By applying it, we try to show our employees the bigger picture around their work, and make them realize the greater role they are fulfilling by just doing their everyday jobs.

We organize a workshop and encourage them to find this grand meaning by themselves, since it is unique for each person. When they are able to find and embrace this, they understand their important role in the workplace and community. Consequently, they feel themselves more valuable and successful.

I always try to find “the meaning in what I do”, and remember it while I am working. As a result, It helps me to feel blessed and energetic. I consciously spend my valuable time to do something really worthy and helpful. By using this method, I generally achieve successful results. Therefore, I am glad to have an opportunity to implement such a program for the benefit our employees, because it definitely makes a great difference for most of them.

While we are conducting the workshops, I noticed that some people have a hard time to find the meaning in their jobs. So I came up with the idea to prepare a simple questionnaire, which can be helpful in discovering the meaning at work.

 

Questions about the consciousness of the results of your work:

  1. Do you realize how your job contributes to your purpose of life?

0 Don’t know 1 Absolutely not 2 No 3 Partially 4 Yes 5 Absolutely Yes

  1. Do you feel your job is meaningful?

0 Don’t know 1 Absolutely not 2 No 3 Partially 4 Yes 5 Absolutely Yes

  1. Do you realize the positive results of your job to other people or anything around you?

0 Don’t know 1 Absolutely not 2 No 3 Partially 4 Yes 5 Absolutely Yes

  1. Do you realize what you fulfil simply by doing your job?

0 Don’t know 1 Absolutely not 2 No 3 Partially 4 Yes 5 Absolutely Yes

 

Questions about what is in it for yourself, personally:

  1. Do you enjoy what you do?

0 Don’t know 1 Absolutely not 2 No 3 Partially 4 Yes 5 Absolutely Yes

  1. Does your job help you to find out and gain consciousness about yourself, by doing it (ex:, finding what you do successfully, or what you find difficult to do)?

0 Don’t know 1 Absolutely not 2 No 3 Partially 4 Yes 5 Absolutely Yes

  1. Can you harness your strengths and competencies in your job?

0 Don’t know 1 Absolutely not 2 No 3 Partially 4 Yes 5 Absolutely Yes

  1. Does your job support you to fulfil your own targets in life?

0 Don’t know 1 Absolutely not 2 No 3 Partially 4 Yes 5 Absolutely Yes

  1. Do you feel pride and happiness when you complete a task in your job?

0 Don’t know 1 Absolutely not 2 No 3 Partially 4 Yes 5 Absolutely Yes

  1. Do you try to find better ways to improve your job?

0 Don’t know 1 Absolutely not 2 No 3 Partially 4 Yes 5 Absolutely Yes

 

Total scores Commenting about the scores
0 – 20 points You   have never thought about the meaning of your work before or you are not   conscious about it. There are parts in every job that you can find enjoyable   and helpful for others. If you try to find them, you will feel more engaged   and happy. You will make your time worthier, and your intrinsic motivation   level will be higher.I   suggest you to talk to your manager(s) and colleagues about this, and try   positively to find the meaning in your work.
20 – 30 points You   have noticed the meaning of your work partially. You should try to discover   more by thinking about the questions that you have rated low. There are   really more dimensions that you can find out.If   you need any help, I suggest you to talk to your manager(s) and colleagues   and try positively to find the deeper meaning in your work.
30 – 40 points You   are almost aware of the meaning of your work and started to find out most of   it.Ask   yourself questions and focus on it to grab its meaning completely.
40 – 50 points You   are conscious of the meaning of your work and have a high intrinsic   motivation. You are engaged at your work and yield successful results mostly.   Go on and share your insights with your friends.

 

How to Interpret the Results Further:

Questions about “the consciousness of the results of your work”: If your score is below 12, you should think about your job and tasks more.

Questions about “what is in it for yourself, personally”: If your score is below 18, please focus on your job to find out if this job is suitable for you and your personality.

 

Some suggestions that help to find out the meaning at work:

The best way to do this is self-coaching and asking questions to ourselves. You may perceive your job as a picture and yourself as a piece of the puzzle; try to understand which piece you are in this puzzle.

What do you really do, what is your function? Think about the results of what you are doing in your business, and how you are helping people by doing this. When you do your job well, what positive and beneficial outcomes does your company or people gain? If no one does this job, what will happen?

What do you like to do? Do you like to bring order to chaos by setting up processes? Do you like to help in the development of other people? Do you like to assist people to have some good time? Do you like to contribute in a healthy, hygienic and safe environment? Do you like to analyze?  Do you like to solve problems? Think about what you really do, and which piece of the puzzle you are.

What do you do best? Actually, the answer of this question is usually related to what you like to do most. You will find out that you generally like what you are best at. Because that specific task fits your competencies and abilities.

“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Confucius

 

Redefine your job.

If you are a cook, you help people to get the energy they need to work and live, moreover, make them feel happy, when they eat the delicious food you prepare for them.

If you are a trainer, you contribute in the development of people, help them to notice lots of new concepts, gain new skills to help them in their lives and work environments. Furthermore, indirectly you contribute to many people’s lives.

If you are a part of the cleaning staff, you are helping people to have a hygienic environment, and protecting them from various health problems. You are helping the community to be healthier.

Whatever you do in your job, you fill in a gap and do something important for something or someone around you. The trick is just to find that out.

 

REFERENCES

  1. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228519
  2. http://meaningatwork.org
  3. ISS Global Apple Program
  4. PERYÖN 22. HR Congress; HR Transformation Scenario: “Compulsory Travel To Tomorrow In HR” Reha Abi, Pembe Candener
  5. “The Why of Work / How Great Leaders Build Abounded organizations that Win”, David Ulrich and Wendy Ulrich
  6. “8 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement”, CXM Employee, 2016, Rebecca Stickler

 

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