With Labor Day in the US quickly approaching, I thought it timely to share the 3rd of the 6 building blocks I’ve been using and refining across my coaching and advisory work: the ‘𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐈 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐦𝐲 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤’ block.
The ‘𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐈 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐦𝐲 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤’ block explores exactly what it sounds like — how one feels about and experiences their work and all the goes into it.
And, I am reminded daily that it’s the most important and most urgent of the 6 blocks to focus on — or to be building with — as we move towards the future, or at least our ‘next’.
The innards of this block are complex, because how we feel about our work can be complex. And subjective. And variable. And deep. And personal.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐤, 𝐡𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫, 𝐢𝐬 𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐮𝐞. And that is what I help my clients dig into — for themselves and, in the case of leaders, those they serve. The concept of ‘𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠’ is often at play here, which explores if an individual feels like they matter to others in their work life, like they are valued, and like they have value.
‘𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐈 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐦𝐲 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤’ is shaped by things like (in no particular order):
➡Purpose, vision, mission, values (mine & those of my company)
➡My manager, my leader(s), my opportunity to lead
➡My relationships, connections, network, peers, team
➡My enablement (as in ‘𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐞𝐧𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐈 𝐚𝐦 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐨 𝐦𝐲 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤’)
➡My company & team culture, behaviors
➡Trust in me by others and in others by me
➡My engagement, experience, satisfaction
➡My sense of inclusion, belonging, equity
➡My safety (physiological, physical)
➡My growth potential (& investment) in role, in career
➡My company & team norms, rituals
➡My health, wellness
➡My balance, flexibility
➡My rewards, benefits, compensation
➡My company & team performance management
➡My company & team brand, reputation, credibility
➡My onboarding, offboarding
So, why does this matter?
My work teaches me that it’s the sense of value that enables an individual’s engagement in their work, their satisfaction, their willingness to stay, to be a net-promoter, to be an alumni-advocate once moving on, and so on. The absence of a sense of value makes these difficult, if not impossible, to fulfil.
Employers hire employees wanting them to, at minimum, be engaged in their work. Employees join employers intending to, at minimum, be valued in their work.
And while I tend to talk about these 6 building blocks in the positive, I see lots of signals today that building with ‘How I feel about my work’ is not a focus of some companies EVEN THOUGH it is a focus of their employees. I see RTO mandates as one of these signals, and I see prevalence of very low engagement scores across the workforce as another.
So, I am curious…how do you feel about your work?