This page contains further examples from the article "Fulfillment is the future of work". Read the full article here.
Why is fulfillment at work becoming more important?
- Distrust in the banks and organisations obsessed with profit at the expense of happiness and health
- Negative media publicity for high status senior roles and excessive salaries.
- Buying their own home because of rising house prices is an achievable goal for less young people than in previous generations
- Career paths are becoming flatter with more competition and less opportunity for promotion, so career satisfaction and fulfillment need to be derived in other ways than traditionally rising up the ranks
- Many workplaces have become stagnant with senior employees staying put rather than moving jobs and hence less opportunities for development and promotion hungry employees. The consequence of this is that many employees have become ‘stale’ in their roles – they feel like they are not learning new skills and not all their skills are being utilized.
- The rising cost of housing means that more and more people are having to live further away from their workplaces and spend more time on crowded trains and roads, with growing frustration and lost productivity for their employer.
How can employers provide more fulfillment through working practices and policies?
- Support employees with help to reduce their stress, e.g. provide a concierge service.
- Give employees the day off on their birthday.
- Get out of employees’ way – give them their own areas of responsibility and accountability and don’t micromanage them.
- Have an alumni programme so they can return to the employer in future and their talent isn’t wasted.
- Help them to learn and grow with stretch challenges in the business.
- Allow them to be involved in community initiatives that make a difference locally in the community or in the world.
- Link rewards with an individual’s career motivations; power, status, making a difference, relationships at work etc.
- Offer mindfulness sessions to help employees to practically learn the skill of being present.
- Encourage line managers and/or use external coaches to help employees to explore what is important to them, their values and what motivates them, and how they can align their role with these.
- Introduce internal coaches to give employees the attention that they crave but which line managers lack time to give.
- Train line managers in the importance of giving constructive feedback about performance.
- Offer flexible working and hours that suit the individual e.g. term time hours for working parents.
- Design physical workspaces around best practice creating conducive environments for team work, individual concentration and reflection for example.
- In big companies, create the sense of a smaller working unit, like a small business size, with autonomous self-managing teams.
- Do skills audits of all employees to identify untapped skills.
- Give employees the opportunity to learn new skills which will energise them and help their career prospects.
- Create more flexible working patterns so that employees can avoid the frustrating and unproductive bottleneck of the daily commute.
- Include portfolio careers as part of your workforce planning policy so that people can combine the different things that give them fulfillment.
- Introduce self-managing teams who set their own KPIs and rewards.
- Have a 'fun' budget and get employees to share ideas.
- Have a weekly lucky draw with prizes sponsored by local companies.
- Ask employees which of their skills are not being utilised. It is a common employee complaint.
- Provide forums for your employees to discuss the changing world of work and how a 'win win' can be achieved for employer and employee.
- Be courageous and invite external 'mavericks' or 'agent provocateurs' to challenge thinking and policies with employees and the Board.
- Get a skilled external facilitator to provide a safe space to get the 'elephants in the room' causing disengagement.
- Do a competition to elicit from employees re the impact of employee stagnation and ideas to address it.
- Look at what the best small businesses are doing - they are your real competitor.
- Ensure line managers know the personal values of their direct reports and support them in honouring them through their employment, remembering to help them achieve their personal goals too.
- Create an 'Employee Forum' to find out how employees are really feeling and get them to generate ideas to maintain and improve the psychological contract.
- Set up a specific room at work decorated with the organisation's challenges and objectives, where employees can go to think about and contribute positive ideas as 'graffiti' - feeling that they have a voice.
- Run a session with The Board to identify what engages and disengages them to put employee fulfillment higher up the agenda
- Use data to highlight the cost of ignoring the issue of employee fulfillment and cost of talent drain, recruitment, training of new recruits, management time etc.
- Do an action learning set (group coaching) to tackle the subject of how to increase fulfillment at work with a core team of engagement ambassadors.
How can employees positively influence their own career fulfillment?
- Discuss flexible working options.
- Speak with HR/your line manager about role redesign and how your current role can better play to your strengths and what work tasks you find fulfilling.
- Address the causes of job dissatisfaction/change your attitude to them or explore if they can be removed from your role and given to someone else.
- Adapt your own work environment e.g. with pot plants, a picture of the outdoors etc.
- Write your ideal fulfilling role profile and compare it with your current one.