All the ladies out there (don’t worry this is not a gender-biased post, all the gentlemen could probably relate to it in one way or another), have you ever bought that dress you’d been longing for months which made you feel so gorgeous and elegant that you proudly called it your favourite dress? Don’t tell me you’ve never had such moments. I refuse to believe it.
But the question is, is it still your favourite piece of clothing today? Does it still give you the same kind of warm fuzzy feeling when you put it on and look at yourself in the mirror?
Well, I wouldn’t possibly know everyone’s answer.
But the same dress that gave me the I-am-the-prettiest-girl-in-the-world feeling a year ago sits quietly in my wardrobe now, waiting to be overlooked at least once a month. It no longer satisfies my innate craving for feeling good, so I always want another dress, then another dress… However, I do have my favourite pair of sweatpants that I’ve owned for five years, and I just cannot get enough of the comfort and feeling of home it gives me. So now -this might be a longshot- let’s bring this analogy to our jobs and talk about the level of happiness your job can offer you.
When you achieve the monthly goals you set for yourself, when you successfully hit the sales target, or when you finally launch the mobile application that you’ve been developing for months, you feel the sense of accomplishment and are filled with joy. All of your friends and relatives who notice this would think that your job makes you feel so good. However, it is actually not your job that is making you happy, but it's you who is doing a good job.
It's about you, not the job.
Just like how that dress looks very elegant and gorgeous on its own, you call it your favourite dress because of the way it feels when you're in it.
Back to your job. Come one week later, that happiness starts to fade away again because you will have to focus on new projects or tasks, and of course repeat the cycle of short-term happiness all over again. The truth is, you can experience the same level of happiness by accomplishing a task in almost every other company, so what is the reason that makes you stay with a particular organisation?
At the end of the day, the comfy sweatpants always win it from the fancy dress.
Everyone needs that pair of comfy pants; everyone needs a job in which they feel comfortable. Some of your friends might look good wearing the job they are wearing, but do they actually love wearing it? Some do, some don't.
If you are a CEO or a manager of a company, of course, you want your employees to have those short-term periods of happiness because of a job-well-done. But it's far more important to make sure your wardrobe is well-equipped with super comfortable pieces that add to your work environment. Because in that work environment, employees will find it easier to do a good job. And once they find something that fits them perfectly, they will not need to shop around as much. Nobody throws away their pair of perfectly comfy sweatpants.
But enough with the play on words.
Give Them the Recognition They Deserve
Giving your people praises and recognition for their efforts makes them not only feel good about themselves but also about their organisation as a whole. People feel appreciated, are motivated to do great work, and as a result, the company benefits from it. A healthy cycle of high-quality work and motivation contributes to the overall engagement.
Autonomy is Key
A lot of people thrive when they are given the freedom to do things their own way. Letting them enjoy the whole process and giving them autonomy encourages their creativity and motivation to bring you better quality work.
Instill in Them a Sense of Purpose
People get excited when they realise they are contributing to something bigger and greater. If they can see themselves achieving something in your company, they will be fuelled with excitement and motivation to deliver a lot more.