People who really care about their jobs view them as more than a list of tasks to complete each day. Benefits and paychecks are important, but they ideally shouldn’t be the only reasons someone sticks with a job. Plenty of people who do so find themselves on a fast track to burn-out and disillusionment. When employees feel they are working for a purpose that benefits the greater good, they tend to be much more satisfied with their jobs. They also work to improve their performances and are eager to take on added responsibilities. Employees who are valued as individuals report much higher levels of job satisfaction as well.
Freedom and flexibility to use individual judgment are two big factors in making people value their jobs. General procedures and protocols need to be followed, but no one likes to be micro-managed unnecessarily about every little detail. Savvy employers set general guidelines and time frames for how and when work needs to be completed, but they also allow their employees to use their best judgment about the specifics. This approach is instrumental in building trust between bosses and employees.
Reasonable and clear expectations are another important factor in job satisfaction. Workers both need to know what to do and to have consistency with those expectations. Employers who take the time to explain the reasons behind company practices are able to get their employees much more invested in a common purpose. Taking the time to foster camaraderie and teamwork will generate teams of employees who care about their jobs and performance levels because each team member believes his or her effort matters.
People who genuinely like and care about their jobs are comfortable voicing their opinions and input because they’ve been encouraged to do so. The employers who foster the highest levels of engagement ask their employees open-ended questions and take their feedback into consideration. Even when an employee’s idea isn’t the best option, these kinds of employers take the time to give legitimate and logical reasons why. The same employers don’t view their employees as clogs in a machine. Instead, they make the effort to get to know them as unique individuals with interests outside of the office. A bit of small talk about these interests can go a long way in fostering mutual admiration and respect.
People truly like and care about their jobs when they feel they’re working towards a common goal, when they feel included as a valuable team member and when they feel they’re recognized as unique individuals with their own points of view.