You may have heard of or read the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***” by Mark Manson. This is his answer to the extremely popular “the Life Changing Magic of not giving a F***” by Sarah Knight, itself an answer to “The Life Changing Magic of tidying up”. This new era in oppositional self-help books is taking the market by storm, and for good reasons. Sarah Knight’s antidote to perfectionism focuses on not caring what others think, while Mark Manson’s composition has some subtler messages which are more applicable to business.
Essentially, the crux of the information advises readers to find something important and meaningful in life to devote the bulk of their time and energy towards. This advice is given with profound insight in mind that everything in life has its problems associated, and that if you care about what you are doing, the pain associated with these problems will be easier to bear. Essentially, the message is the antithesis of much of what advertising tries to convince of, that you should care about less things, not more. You should also care about things wisely, making sure to only care about the things which align with your personal values.
Take home message:
The take home for business managers is this: your workers will be happier and more engaged in their work, and therefore more productive, if they view their work as meaningful and aligned with their personal values. This could be the key to the reason why most employees are not engaged, and 16% of Australian workers are actively disengaged and looking for other work. It makes a lot of sense and could point at the reason why many older workers view millennials as lazy or dispassionate workers. The truth is that millennials are not dispassionate about life in general, they are just more acutely aware of the idea that they should be searching for the things which align with their values to engender that passion.
So, in a world of apathy, how can business managers ensure their workers are passionate about the values their business stands for?
Essentially, culture is the answer. Developing a culture in which your employees can thrive, where the business values align with their own personal values, and where they can feel they have a meaningful contribution to the world around them.
Getting your employees to care:
Find out about what your employees care about and think about how the business values can align. For example, if your employees care about the environment, think about measures in which you can cut down your ecological footprint. If you have a team of people who care about giving back to their community, enrol your workplace into a volunteering opportunity. There should be a degree of individuality in this also, a worker who is more social and outgoing should be given opportunities to interact with the public on behalf of the company. And acknowledge the contributions of each of your workers, ensuring they feel valued for the individual contribution their strengths and efforts make to the functioning of the workplace. In this way, you will ensure you attract and retain the most talented and motivated workers for your individual business.