Is there anything missing with your job, which keeps you away from being really happy with it? What is it, that would change your job significantly to the better? You might be surprised what is having most influence. Do your personal reality check!
There are five job factors, which come to my mind, when considering significant improvements of work experience. This much can be said up front, none of them is derived from a specific role, a superior position in the hierarchy, a decent salary, particular bonuses, or pleasing incentives. Much more, you have to consider hopes and fears, personal abilities to excel, and the comfort in executing a job, whatever it might be.
Of course, you can argue that having more money and leisure time is great. And, being the hero due to an admired position in the department or organization brings honor and reputation. Definitely, life can be much more easy and fun – outside of your workplace. Even though, the factors I am thinking of are internal factors. I have strong doubts, that external factors will make a job, your place of work, significantly better.
To emphasize, I am talking about really significant factors – not small, gradual improvements, but a real shift up. Obviously, five aspects cannot address everything. There is more, worthwhile to be considered. Also, I can imagine that the factors I have picked are not necessarily the first to come to one’s mind, when being asked. Anyhow, I dare to say that everything else can be derived from these five factors. They are the glue for making everything come together.
My 5 Job Factors for Shifting Up Work Experience
Derived from my experience of working with teams and organizations for many years now, I have learned to value the following factors. They are my kind of inner compass.
Nr. 1: Safety
I do not have to worry about losing my job, being replaced or demoted because of what I am doing. I have a reasonable income, which keeps away worries how to fund my life. And, the judgment of my bosses or any of my colleagues I do not have to fear, as they want to improve and grow rather than punish and blame. I can do anything from what I think is the right and best for getting a job done without the immanent fear of failure. – I can be myself.
Nr. 2: Purpose
My job is related to a challenge, which is aiming for something really needful. I understand the value of what is being done and I believe it is worth spending major effort. The value of my job is reaching beyond pure task completion. – I can believe in what I am doing.
Nr. 3: Destination
I have a clear destination by when something is ought to be done – without exception, excuse, and continuous changes. I am challenged to succeed and will put all of my effort into delivering something, which is working somehow. Meanwhile, considerations about being perfect can be neglected. Continuous discussions about better suited solutions are stalled. I work for the sake of making things happen without being puzzled from complexity. Finally, I can focus and take one quick step after the other to succeed. – I can succeed.
Nr. 4: Experience
I am exposed to different experiences and can learn from them. I have time and support to see and understand more things inside and outside of my own box. As I understand better, I can step up and take influence on other aspects related to my work, as soon as they are impacting me. In my working context I start to become more influential and can affect how it is being formed. – I can contribute best to my duties and needs.
Nr. 5: Team Spirit
I am embedded in an organization where everyone cares for each others. I can feel the interest in understanding each others concerns and ways to grow. And, I am able to relate to others and together we reflect on plans and concerns. We provide and receive feedback and support each other, reaching beyond the own concerns. I grow a network of relations and find reliability. – I can trust others.
You might recognize, that the factor are forming a closed a loop. Thereby, they include other aspects of a vital organization, like trust and cross-functional setups. All of the factors are somehow dependent and reliant in each other. As such, they can be a kind of surrogate for each other in many cases.
Coming around he Absence of Job Factors
Even though I have been satisfied with the jobs in my career most, I struggle sometimes and feel frustration. Because of experiencing the idea of being better and thereby blaming others; because failure is being seen as a weakness; because knowing and confirming is replaced by assumptions and biases; because people fight predominantly for their own objectives; because my boss is interested in getting tasks done, but not in myself and my capabilities to get them done; and, because I experience the difficulties of uncertainties about expectations, which create stress and self-doubts.
But, I also learned, how much team spirit can help to overcome the one or other deficit; how much growing experience can help to drive purpose; how much defining a deadline and commitment to objectives was pushing people and teams forward; and, how much safety helped people to gradually find their way forward for themselves.
Anyhow, surrogates are never as good as the real thing. Thereby, as the most important learning, it comes true that the five factors cannot be established from plans. A business case, providing purpose and delivery dates will never include aspects of safety or team spirit, as well as an employee program will miss out on the greater purpose and deadlines.
The Power lies within the Culture
There is a consequence from it. When plans, programs, actions do not help on itself, success can only be derived from common sense. This is known to be the company culture; a company culture, where every employee is honored and meaningful deliverables are the highest good.
Thereby, an implementation, which might sound straight forward when looking at the individual aspects, becomes a complex challenge. There are not many companies, who really succeeded. It is because of the complexity due to dependencies on people and their personalities and the ever-changing nature of business models.
People are people, and business is business. And both cannot be shaped at our own will.
Living the Job Factors to shift up Work Experience
Nonetheless, there are ways for everyone of us to influence the company culture. Everyone of us is ought to contribute in making our jobs better – irrespective of being a top manager, a functional specialist, or a junior employee:
- Be patient with your co-workers and accept their ideas and approaches, even if you think things should be done differently; show appreciation for their results and approve failure as a way of learning – they will feel safe.
- Use every chance to talk about the purpose of your job instead of focusing on the checkboxes to be ticked off, when a task is being done; make the greater good visible for your colleagues – they will feel valuable.
- Set and communicate clear deadlines for achievements; make planning a joint exercise by involving others in talks about achievements and feasibilities and create a feeling of commitment for the deliverables – they will feel motivated.
- Engage yourself in finding out more about the tasks and challenges of others; create interest in your own duties and ask for their thoughts and ideas, how challenges can be addressed or solved – they will feel connected.
- Make your colleagues aware of the challenges and difficulties of others; have them think about how they would feel about certain situations, how they would respond to it, and how they could support them to improve – they will feel needed.
Your Benefits and Gains
The benefits for oneself? Everything is a give and take. Consequently, reciprocity is a driver for most aspects of making your job a better job. If others are doing better, you will be doing better as well. And there is a dot on the i, a kind of bonus. If you manage to convince others to change their behavior, your behavior will make others start to see you as an enabler. And an enabler is a natural leader.
It is not always the way you shape things, which makes your job better. In short, it is about how you shape yourself, which makes a difference.