You probably thought that I just gave you my password to my CRM system. If only it were that easy to remember. No, the letters above stand for something much more valuable than a password. They stand for perhaps the most important question a good business leader should always be able to answer. They also stand for the one question every employee should be asking of their employer and should demand an answer from them.
That question? Does My Job Really Matter? I am convinced that the vast majority of problems that companies face with disgruntled, disengaged and disinterested employees can be traced back to a failure on the part of the company to answer and address this question at time of hire. I am also convinced that the majority of workers (better than 68% by some surveys) who say that they don’t enjoy the work that they do, are not happy in their jobs would feel differently if they had asked this question of their employers.
In the award winning book, The Great Game of Business, Jack Stack took a low performing soon to be closed division of International Harvester and created a very profitable employee owned company by making sure that all of the employees knew that their jobs really did matter. An early proponent of open-book management Stack knew that the only way his company could succeed was by making every employee a stakeholder in the company. Weekly meetings were held, the company balance sheet was explained and Stack and his management team made sure that each and every employee understood his/her worth to the company.
If you are a business leader, look at your own company. Does every employee know their value? Does every employee feel that their job matters? As recruiters we find it easy to sell an opportunity to a prospective candidate based on position, career path, benefits etc. We find it even easier to sell the candidate on the opportunity if we can show them where they fit into the organization, what their value is and how much the job matters to the company.
As a worker, whether you are looking inside or outside your company for your next opportunity it is important that you get the answer to the question posed above. In the interview you should ask not just what the job entails, but how important it is to the company, where it fits into the overall goals for the business, does it really matter.
If workers knew how important their jobs were would they be happier, more engaged, more productive? As a business leader I would like to think so. Telling employees that their jobs really matter and showing them how much you value what they do could go a long way to making “our people are our most important assets” much more meaningful.
Now I need to find the password to my CRM system.