I’ve had some interesting experiences over the last 9 years of my journey. From someone who was forced to talk to employees on the floor as part of a job description to voluntarily speaking to all the team members and listening to their stories, I have come a long way and learnt a lot. I spent the first 5 years of my career (in a big corporate company) trying to find meaning in my work to the next 4 years (when I started on my own) where every day is a new experience. No doubt, my work takes me to places that I have never traveled to or makes me meet some really interesting individuals I wouldn’t have otherwise met. It has enabled me to change my perspective towards work and changed me as a person.
From individuals with desires to contribute more to the company, to individuals who are ready to take a pay cut . I have observed, studied and interacted with a varied group of people working in setups from different sectors.
‘We want an increase in salary’, ‘we want regular increments’ said he, a 40 year old man with tucked-in shirt and a pen in his hand.He sat opposite me, fidgeting with the pen, nervously wondering what questions will be thrown at him. These were his first few statements even before I started asking him questions. I quietly listened to him and post the initial barrage of complaints, I asked him to take a pause, sit comfortably in silence for 10 seconds and talk about one positive aspect about the company. As soon as I was finished,like a raconteur he started narrating his journey from the beginning. He suddenly adjusted himself more comfortably in the chair and started enjoying the conversation. Then I saw that slight glimmer in his eyes, a faint smile on his face while talking about his experience with the company. Finally he said ‘and madam it’s not so much about the money as it is about the work & the connect that we share with the company’.
Like this guy, I have come across many individuals in different companies that I consult with having the same opinion. Lower salary is always the initial complaint, but dig deeper and you unravel a very different perspective on what people want in the workplace.
Contrary to most people’s belief that salary is the only factor that keeps individuals motivated, there is a completely different model that comes to light when you talk and listen to your team.
We as individuals are meant to work not just to satisfy our basic needs, but to also contribute to something larger and to create value. We seek for work enrichment more than we seek for money. As more than half our day is spent at workplace, people are eager to learn, contribute and see their work culminate into something beautiful. They are motivated when they know their efforts are adding value to the end product.
These days we see lot of individuals from large organisations who quit their jobs to work with smaller companies, Why ? Because they find a purpose that resonates with them, they find value in creation and moreover they see learning and growth opportunities in a smaller setup.
When a setup implements value based working, shares the purpose with everyone in the team,relates their work to the end product and creates a work enriching experience, it starts forming a loyal entourage for itself.
In the end
“Working isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end it’s about enriching the lives and enriching your own life as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? ”
*Original quote by Stephen King on writing.