We are Seekers of Meaning. "Working" in the Year 2022.
Man is a seeker of meaning. If he finds meaning, many things are possible. If the search is unsuccessful, he is bored, frustrated, apathetic, irritable, depressed and looks for a substitute for meaning.
The hope for meaning is often lost in the work environment. Many employees and executives are highly operationally overloaded, either perceived or actual. The biggest "killer" of innovations, including innovations that could ensure that everyone works a little less, is bureaucracy. This leads to great frustration in everyday life and at the same time reduces identification with the objective.
Many feel "drained," become restless and no longer see the point of their work. The statements "What we're doing here is pointless nonsense!" or "...the bosses don't know what they're doing anyway..." are still a mild form of resistance in everyday life.
So what needs to be done so that people can once again engage in meaning-oriented activities, feel motivated, and use their individual competencies in the best possible way for something great?
First of all, people always seem to be searching for meaning. Man is preoccupied with existential questions. Who am I, how did I get here, what should I do, why and what happens afterwards? In everything we do, or don't do, in every environment, we deal with meaning. Meaning orientation gives us a deeper meaning than our mere existence. It makes us seem important and gives us a sense of security, at least subjectively. If we feel secure, we can concentrate on other important things. We are willing to provide power. We provide manpower. In this way, we can potentially achieve our or the group's goals or support their achievement. In the world of work, this is fundamentally no different. Here, too, it is primarily a matter of our perception. Self-perception is influenced by our impressions. At the same time, however, this also partly predetermines our behavior in situations. We are shaped as human beings by our parents, our childhood, school friends, family, etc. - each person individually. Our social interaction, the constant, partly of course completely subconscious, comparison with each other, gives us an identification - a position in the group. Exactly this identification then also inevitably influences our perception of meaningfulness.
Meaning influences the work force
Meaning, then, is always subjective and individual. One could argue that it is composed of a mixture of cognitive processes, events, and perceptions. Sense and lack of sense can be felt. We literally feel and check at all times whether we are still on a meaningful path. Because we feel we can then communicate this sense and invite others along our path. Despite our individuality some people feel the same way about certain situations. We can cry and laugh together, be curious, or feel tiredness.
Whether work seems meaningful to us depends on various aspects. It should not only have a meaning for the individual, but also for others, for the world.
It should "touch" us - that is, grip us emotionally. Ideally not only once, but recurrently, because this repetitive perception, "refreshes" us again and again and gives us further drive. Meaningful work also means that a person can work for or on something that he or she also stands for or wants to stand for. For companies, it is important to know that, interestingly enough, "meaning" cannot be defined solely by the sensation of joy or happiness. Rather, meaning is, especially in objectively difficult situations, an "energy supplier" - for example, in the very stressful situation of a surgeon.
A person feels "joy" when something succeeds without personal intervention. People are "inspired" when they can be beneficial through their own abilities, competencies, i.e. through their own effectiveness. This then also leads to an ever-increasing interest in wanting to develop and train further. Another advantage for companies.
Meaningful work enables a person to use his or her individual "assets" in an authentic way.
What can companies do to create meaning?
The pandemic has shown us that we can make our work much more flexible. The four-day week could be a first step in taking some of the meaning out of work. What we need is pioneering work and change competence to reduce the economic risk of a company. The risk is significantly increased by a lack of meaningfulness in action. Therefore, organizations, managers, executives and directors should continuously address three questions.
1. How useful are the structures and processes for achieving certain goals?
2. How well have we identified the individual skills within the groups and teams?
3. How well do we use these skills?
As the daily work routine is very demanding and a lot of tasks have to be done to increase the company value, there is far too little, or no time at all!
PREDICTA|ME opens up new ways with a revolutionary view of the organization.
Like an early warning system that jumps from green first to yellow, then to red, information is provided about changes and dangers in the organization. Do the processes still make sense? Are there information gaps? Are processes faulty or insufficiently defined? Is there even a lack of mutual appreciation? Through valuable suggestions for action with sufficient scope for individual factors, development is initiated holistically and the organization is optimally prepared for change.
The system of "organizational behavior" gives companies 3 promises:
1. to be able to work more satisfied
2. to be able to implement productively and effectively
3. to be able to achieve future viability
The added value lies in the cultural analyses, which, like a behavioral navigation system, help to link corporate goals and strategies with the human factor. If sub-areas do not function as they should, PREDICTA|ME provides information about this with the help of mood images. Systematic organizational development becomes feasible by identifying potential for improvement. One of the most decisive elements of effective management is the leadership style. Situational leadership! Responsible leadership requires more than developing a vision, communicating it effectively, and motivating others to follow it. It requires a deep understanding of the conscious, rational and the unconscious, emotional behaviors - to finally be able to develop power again...through people who work meaningfully!