At McNak we spend our time doing more listening than talking it seems. In our listening we hear common themes about why people stay in their jobs and what leads them to make a change. And it’s really not about the money.
Malcolm Gladwell’s book OUTLIERS The Story of Success got us thinking about why people really do what they do and the decisions they make in their careers. Gladwell’s book has so many great discussion points about culture and success. One very memorable topic discussed was the concept of meaningful work and how it is a constant theme for successful people in terms of business and their careers.
Malcolm’s key points:
There is a clear relationship between work and reward. If the roadmap is clear and individuals can play upon their strengths to participate in the success of the business, there is a strong correlation to meaningful work. It’s the glue.
The degree of complexity of the work. People like to take on new challenges. Sometimes it’s simply a reinterpretation of what they are already doing. This usually leads to higher productivity.
Level of autonomy: this is very much a Gen Y hot spot but we think it applies to most people we work with.
The stick it out factor: if someone has all these elements in their work then they tend to be able to endure adversity and stay on their course to achieve their goals.
Every person has different reasons for working. The reasons for working are as individual as the person. But, we all work because we obtain something that we need from work. The something we obtain from work impacts our morale and motivation and the quality of our lives.
~ Sarah McNeill