Thursday, September 24, 2009

Creating good jobs.

Post 332 - Most people want time in their life for work, family, friends and themselves. They want an interesting job, one that will provide financial security and a chance to get ahead. Sometimes, they want all these things equally, at once; more often, they want different things at different points in their lives. As the poet Maya Angelou says, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it."

Every employee brings unique needs, capabilities, desires and aspirations with them when they go to work every day. People who feel they’re productively developing and applying their capabilities and who feel their company is committed to their welfare invariably commit themselves to helping the business succeed. Frustrated and unfulfilled workers seldom give the company their all.

I’ve found that people’s needs and expectations at work generally center around the three Cs:

• Competence - having the skills and capabilities it takes to perform their work well

• Contribution – knowing how what they do adds value for the business and its customers

• Centrality – knowing that what they do is important and makes a difference.

In addition, employees consistently report the following 'top ten' as job characteristics that generate commitment. They say that a well-designed job:

• Uses their skills and abilities
• Provides opportunities for learning and development
• Specifies a well-defined area of responsibility
• Poses reasonable demands and challenges
• Provides opportunities for social interactions with colleagues
• Contributes to the product the company makes or the service it provides
• Incorporates some variety in the tasks being performed
• Allows for making a worthwhile and meaningful contribution
• Leads to some sort of a desirable future
• Provides opportunities to influence decisions about their work

Different people value these characteristics differently but, taken as a whole, they describe jobs that fulfill people’s needs, keep them productive and don’t stress them out.

Sometime back I bought a raffle ticket and on the ticket it said: You Must Be Present to Win. And I thought, ‘That’s it! That’s the ticket to success in life!’ To be fully present with whatever you’re doing while you’re doing it. Fully awake – fully aware and focused on the person or the situation that’s right there in front of you. So, don't wait for someone else to come and rescue you from an unsatisfactory situation. Success in life is not a random event. Each of us will be as successful as we choose to be.

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