Easy question – who do you work for?
Most people will reply with the name of their organisation but is your employer the reason you actually go to work?
I saw Perry Timms write about a lack of meaning in the workplace and I think, for some people, meaning is important. I don’t think we can assume that for everyone, especially if you’re talking in terms of engagement.
Maybe the answer is to do everything we can do engage those people, to make all work as meaningful and enjoyable and engaging as possible
For some people that might work. Not everyone though because we need to understand the motives for being there in the first place.
Some people come to work for the money. They’re there for the money, the cash, the paycheck. It’s a job, not a career, and their reward is the folding in their back pocket. How engaged are these people?
Some people work for the organisation. Their values and performance matters; association with a well regarded organisation is important, no, ESSENTIAL for them. How engaged are these people?
Some people work for their line manager. The supporting, driving, achieving manager can be the reason some people come to work. Working for the person is important for these employees; association with someone successful, with meaning, witch character, drives people to be present. How engaged are these people?
Some people work for their colleagues, peers and team. The camaraderie of the group matters more than the activity; the relationship is more important than the task; supporting each other in a shared practice. How engaged are these people?
Some people work for the professional reputation. The recognition by peers inside and outside the organisation is critical. Being the best at what they do matters more than the organisation they work for. How engaged are these people.
Some people work for their customers. The relationship with the people they provide a service for is elevated above any other reason; the meaning of the work matters most.
Difficult question – who do you work for?