In our book, 3 + 4 Equals Success, one of the four questions we challenge every employee to ask is, “Am I willing to work hard?” Hard work trumps talent. Hard work trumps IQ. Hard work is the key to success!
Author Marcus Buckingham said, “Always work hard. Intensity clarifies. It creates not only momentum, but also the pressure you need to feel either friction, or fulfillment.” But is hard work the only thing that leads to fulfillment? Will working hard day in and day out allow employees to feel self-satisfaction and self-worth? A new survey from the University of Phoenix School of Business says no.
According to the survey, close to half (47%) of the working adults in America get as much feeling of self-worth from work as they do from their personal lives. The online survey also discovered that almost half of the workers are still looking for that perfect employment opportunity. So it looks like for many people their work defines who they are as a person.
Much of this self-worth revolves around two areas of contribution:
1. What does the individual contribute to the organization?
2. What does the organization contribute to society?
While the individual has some responsibility in contributing to the overall company success, the organization itself bears much of the responsibility of assuring this hard work.
Does the organization communicate well with all employees? Clearly outlining the work to be done, setting challenging yet attainable goals, and regularly checking in with the employees are keys to getting the employees’ 100% effort.
The organization, particularly leadership, must also communicate how individuals’ day-to-day activities contribute to the success of the organization and how the organization is performing overall.
Clear and effective communication to all workers is key to getting top performance from employees thus helping them realize self-worth from their contributions to the organization.
On a larger scale, how does the company impact society? Is the organization simply about making a profit or is it using those profits to make life better for the community, both in the local neighborhood and far away? Workers who belong to an organization that contributes to society are more likely to enjoy higher self-worth and more likely to stay with that organization.
Bottom line? Firms that use their profits to improve life and take the time to clearly communicate that purpose to employees are more likely to enjoy an engaged and satisfied workforce. Companies must also clearly communicate job expectations and a workers’ contribution to company success.
With this focus on purpose and communication, employees will not only enjoy feelings of self-worth but also be proud of working for such a great organization!
Darren K. Ford
I've enjoyed a great career. Worked in many different industries with great coworkers and customers. I talk to a lot of people while drinking a lot of coffee. I read constantly. From all of this, I have much to say.