As a chaplain for businesses with Marketplace Ministries, I get to talk to a lot of employees and hear their issues and concerns. Recently one shared that she was very stressed out about her workload. As I asked a few more questions one issue surfaced that may have been the source of her stress. She explained that she never really knew whether she was doing a good job. She just went about her job everyday trying to stay on top of everything. I could tell that she had very high standards, maybe a little bit of a perfectionist in a job that was difficult to measure success and impossible to be perfect. She explained that although the company had yearly reviews, she had never received any sort of commendation or even a pat on the back. The review process mostly focused on what went wrong and the mistakes that were made.
The conversation sparked an interest in finding out how typical her experience was. I began to ask employees in other companies whether they felt much satisfaction and reward from doing their job and how much positive feedback they received from their supervisors. I was surprised that most of those I talked to said they received little to no positive feedback and they didn't feel much of a sense of accomplishment in their job beyond a paycheck. One confided that he just tried to survive until the weekend when he got a couple days off.
I asked a company's CEO the same question and he confided that it was really difficult to measure success in his job on a daily basis. So, to get immediate satisfaction he would go home and do tasks like chopping wood for firewood. It gave him a sense of accomplishment that he didn't receive at work. Isn’t it sad that he couldn’t feel good at the end of a day about the work in which he had dedicated his life?
We are created to be responsible. (Genesis 1:26). We all feel better when we have responsibility and when we take care of what we are responsible for. And we are happiest when we feel we have done a good job. Watch this Andy Stanley video concerning our need for fulfillment in our work. We all have a great need for fulfillment in our jobs and this was confirmed in my informal survey of employees. Almost all said it was extremely important having a feeling of accomplishment and knowing that they were appreciated for the work they did.
I'd love to hear from others about their work experience.
As an employee;
- How often do you receive praise or positive feedback?
- How valuable is it to you to get a pat on the back?
- Does receiving positive impact motivate you to do better?
As an owner, manager, or supervisor;
- How valuable is it to have employees who are happy or fulfilled in their work?
- How do you measure success beyond the bottom line?
- How often and how well do you acknowledge your employees or church volunteers for a job well done?
- How do you celebrate success?