Providing meaningful work is one of the new buzz phrases becoming increasing popular in blogs and management consulting. And for good reason. Most people spend most of their waking hours at work or thinking about what they do for a living. Research and common sense show that individuals who derive a sense of purpose and personal fulfillment from what they do are more likely to be successful, healthier and happier. For years, many owners have lamented the fact that showroom staff might not view their positions as a career. Their impression is that whether they are a consultant or customer service representative, what they do is just a job that generates a paycheck.
The concern that most people working don’t find meaning in what they do earning a living is not confined to kitchen and bath and remodeling businesses. Most people regardless of what they do or where they work find little meaning in what they do. What’s the answer? According to Monique Valcour, a professor of management at EDHEC Business School in France, meaningful work experience is self-generated. It is something created by oneself. And there are lots of opportunities for meaningful work experiences in kitchen and bath showrooms. A consultant can derive meaning from solving problems, creating pleasurable experiences and making visions and dreams realities. Meaning, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Showroom team members produce results that are meaningful.
It does not matter what you do, there are opportunities to find meaning. You see it every day. There are waiters who goes out of her way to make sure that everything associated with the dining experience is pleasurable. The customer service representative who takes the extra time and goes the extra mile to make sure that your problem is resolved. You know the folks that are go-to resources to perform jobs that you need done. There’s a good chance that these “superstars” derive meaning from what they do. Valcour says that the key to make work more meaningful is “link your personal values and motivations to the work you perform.” This is accomplished by identifying tasks and responsibilities that are energizing and fulfilling and then incorporating those elements into your daily duties. Valcour suggests identifying opportunities to make “an authentic connection with people who benefit from your work.”