I believe the majority of employees desire to have meaningful and challenging work as a part of their normal job activities. Having some level of difficulty in their work is preferable to the boredom of an unchallenging job. As a leader I am very aware that employees having work that brings them satisfaction is not only a great motivator, but also plays an important role in keeping employees engaged.
Most people have an innate desire to improve and better themselves. I see this in our employees, just as I see it in myself. One of the main reasons I wrote The Ordinary Leader was to challenge myself with something new. After ten years of similar activities involved in leading our organization I was ready for a new challenge – something to push me to improve myself, both as a writer and as a leader.
I have come to believe that for all of us, work in many ways is a classroom in which we should always be learning. Because of this understanding, I want our employees to constantly be able to increase their knowledge and skills, and to do work that encourages that.
While all of us at times need to work on projects that feel insignificant and mundane, we are usually much more willing to do so if there is another project waiting for us that will excite us. In our organization, we attempt to make sure everyone has at least something they do that fits the meaningful and challenging category of work. We make it clear that if employees are lacking projects they find interesting, they should approach leadership and we can work together to find an area of interest that they can work at.
Among other things, I have come to see that our happiness with work is partially based on whether we have been able to grow and develop. We spend the majority of our day at work, and when we leave the office feeling we have made a positive and worthwhile contribution to not only our clients, but also our own personal development, we feel happier.