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Maybe We Need To Think About Workplace Actualization

Stashed in: Maslow!

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It is hard to find purpose in work.

Here's the key of the article:

  • Job mindset: Performing transactional duties in return for compensation and not much else.
  • Career mindset: Focused on increasing one’s career girth by advancing salary, title, power, team size and/or span of control.
  • Purpose mindset: Passionate, innovative and committed to a meaningful and engaging workplace that serves and benefits all stakeholders.

An individual’s mindset when working, therefore, is the result of whether their personal purpose is in alignment with the organization’s purpose, as well as with the duties required to perform in the role itself. Often a job or career mindset is a result of misalignment between personal, organizational and role purpose.

Furthermore, a job or career mindset is the result of a leader failing to demonstrate a duty of care in the employees he ought to be leading.

If we plotted the job, career and purpose mindsets against Maslow’s model, we would discover leaders spending far too much time on the physiological and safety levels and spending less time on the top three. This can have detrimental effects to an employee’s chance for purpose at work.

Should time at the first two levels be expunged? Absolutely not.

Physiological and safety level equivalents of Maslow’s framework inside the workplace consists of such elements as well-being, collegial work setting, fair remuneration, reasonable benefits, properly defined role descriptions, and of course a safe environment. Each of these is important and necessary. Failing to provide these aspects is a failure to deliver a purposeful organization.

But in my experience, far too many leaders stop at the physiological and safety levels. This is a potential reason why so many employees are either disengaged or not engaged at work. It is this author’s opinion that it is the very reason far too many employees do not demonstrate purpose in their work.

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