In this short blog, we will look to highlight several aspects about why we go to work and what we may expect when we get there. By raising these issues, we can pause and reflect about why we do what we do.
Why do we go to work? A wide-ranging question which we respond to as individuals.
For many of us, there will be the reality of working to pay the bills, the mortgage and survive. So ‘working to live’.
However, the relationship between employer and employee is far more complex.
There are many different reasons that can make people want to go to work, depending on the individual:
- Financial, as my Dad used to say ‘to oil the wheels’
- To develop your career, again an individual definition and ambition
- To learn new skills, that will develop you for today and tomorrow, whilst ideally embracing the philosophy of lifelong learning
- Expectation, both your own and of your peers
- To be challenged and explore new opportunities, thereby embracing organisational change
- To take responsibility for your own and therefore your organisation’s performance. Being proud of who you are and of your personal contribution
- To enjoy and be passionate about what you do
- The role of your leader. How far does your boss inspire you to come to work and to ‘be the best you can be’ in terms of your job performance and to ‘go that extra mile’?
- For social reasons, where you may enjoy the company of your workplace colleagues
Another important area is what do we expect from an employer? The responses will again be unique to the individual.
- Do we want to be incentivised by money/bonuses, learning opportunities and personal growth? Possibly an ever-varying combination of all 3?
- Do you simply want genuine recognition for coming in and delivering? For many of us, it is important to feel valued and appreciated for what we do
- Do we want to be invested in and encouraged to self-develop? Here there may be an attraction towards a ‘Learning Organisation’
- Perhaps an environment where you can deliver the minimum of what is expected?
- Do you seek a workplace that offers social reinforcement and status?
- How far does your organisation go to enable you to achieve your desired work/life balance?
Some reflections from us;
I feel very privileged as I really enjoy the work that I do, engaging with individuals, teams and organisational around the world. My primarily motivator is to see individual and collective growth and development, to see those I work with ‘do the best they can’ and ‘be the best they can be’. Of course, as an outcome of what I do, I can provide in the best way that I can for my children, for now and their futures.
I feel very humbled as both aspects, my work and as a result what I can do for my children, are to me, truly inspirational and motivational.
From personal experience, I can say that I am motivated if I am stimulated and challenged. I like each day to be different and I have always been motivated by bosses and companies that challenge me and help me develop. If I feel I am getting somewhere, I am challenged and learning, I am happy.
We can therefore see that there may be some synergy between what motivates us to go to work and our employer offering.
The key questions for us to consider and reflect around include;
- how far do we understand our own motivations to go to work?
- when, where and why do our motivators change?
- how well does your employer understand what motivates you as an individual and your colleagues as a collective?
- what are the implications of these current scenarios for you and your organisation?
We explore these issues and many others at our events at D.J. Learning. Please look at our website www.djlearning.co.uk
Dave and Oliver