Why do we work?
The answer to this may seem straightforward, but in reality, it isn't. When we break society down into its individual elements, the logical answer is to say that we work to make money so that we can live. This is a logical explanation, but life isn't that simple. Human beings are immensely complex creatures. We have emotional needs that do not fit snugly into simplistic ideals of socio-economic order.
For many of us, the drudgery of day-to-day work takes a toll on our psyche as individuals. Even the most profitable jobs can leave us feeling empty and unsatisfied. It is thus, necessary for our mental wellbeing to justify and designate reasons for our work. And while this may seem like something that the individual is responsible for doing, there is a significant benefit for businesses to invest in emotional support for their employees.
With this in mind, we can examine the success of businesses that have strong core-beliefs that help transcend the self-serving employer-employee dynamic that is prevalent throughout the world. Simon Sinek, the author of "Start with Why" (2009), provides much insight into purpose-driven business attitudes and functions. He sheds light on how to improve the relationship between employers and employees so that all who take part feel emotionally fulfilled. Sinek's theory revolves around what he calls the "Golden Circle" -- three concentric rings representing from the innermost to the outermost, 'Why?", "How?", and "What?".
The "why?" questions the reason for the business or the job's existence. It questions the cause and what the beliefs are. The "How?" asks which specific actions are taken to realise the "Why?", and "What?" addresses the result of this process. According to Sinek, much of finding success and fulfilment in the realm of work can fit into this template. This speaks directly to the business with strong core beliefs.
A business that addresses these questions properly will benefit its employees, its customers, and ultimately its stakeholders. This benefit will not just be in monetary, but emotional terms as well. A business that has a set of strong core beliefs will also show that it has a passion for what it does, and it is this passion that influences all within its sphere of operation. It gives meaning to the work done by the employees who will feel satisfied with the fact that they are contributing to the positive outcome engendered by the core beliefs of the business. It is important that a business hires people who share these core beliefs. By doing so, the business addresses its "Why?" by joining with it, people who have the passion to work towards a common goal.
Ultimately, there needs to be a symbiotic relationship between the employer and the employee that goes beyond the simplicity of profit-making. It is by addressing why we want to make a profit that drives the emotional success of the business and its employees.
Omni HR Consulting has developed a new leadership approach to gear leaders for the changes brought about by the 4th Industrial Revolution. ACORN (an acronym) to the leadership approach is both practical and operation and can be implemented in any environment. An environment that cares and acknowledges that “we’re all in it together” will create conditions that allow for growth and upskilling, yielding a purpose-driven team. To learn more about ACORN visit our website.
Contributor: Greg Beyer
Researcher at Omni Academy for Education, Training and Development