2015 Wellbeing October Meaning
Meaning A Sense of Purpose
People need to use their strengths, understand their impact and see how they contribute to organizational goals. Edward Diener, nicknamed “Dr. Happiness” and a senior scientist for the Gallup Organization, distinguished that the so-called “calling orientation,” in which people are passionate about what they do, is intrinsically the most rewarding.
A sense of purpose helps build a resilient enterprise based on trust and collaboration. It infuses “yes power” throughout an organization, says de Benoist.
“Beliefs are the rituals of the everyday that a community shares,” he notes. “In the best cases, a person’s sense of meaning in life and the purpose of the company are compatible and augment each other. When people around us believe the same things as we do and work toward similar things in the same space, it creates a sense of harmony in context.”
“Brand isn’t just for the client,” says Arantes. “The brand is also for the people inside the company to have a meaningful understanding of what the brand stands for and be mindful of it in their everyday work.
“Without shared understanding of what you want to accomplish, it’s hard to get people aligned on what their goals are and how to get there. People need meaning in order to know that their work is not going to waste. It’s possible for even a large body of people to move quickly if they’re aligned on the same goal and meaning.”
Cultivating meaning in the workplace
“How we spend our time, doing the right things in the right way, can powerfully impact wellbeing,” says de Benoist. “Spaces that are intentionally designed to help people accomplish meaningful goals can make a tremendous difference in individual performance and overall organizational results.”
- Include spaces beyond the lobby that reinforce the brand, purpose, history and culture of the company.
- Leverage vertical real estate to make thinking and progress visible.
- Use technology to display real-time information.
- Create an ecosystem of spaces that give people choices and empower them to work productively alone or together.
We talk a lot about cultivating a sense of purpose in the workplace, so it’s helpful to take a moment to clarify just what we mean by “purpose.” In practice, there are different levels of purpose: Personal purpose, organizational purpose, and task purpose. Each level is important, and effective organizations will pay attention to each level to enhance performance. Let’s take them in order.
Personal purpose is what inspires people to get up in the morning and do what they do. Personal purpose is determined largely by each individual’s values and cares. Everyone is driven by some internal purpose, even if it is unexamined and unrefined. As an employer, you don’t get to control anyone’s personal purpose (except your own). You can, however, ally with your employees in ways that help them fulfill their personal purpose while also serving the organization’s purpose.
The formation of personal purpose is complex and, well, personal. But that doesn’t mean it’s none of a company’s business. In fact, being in alignment with your employees’ sense of purpose enhances commitment and loyalty, which has everything to do with your business. However, the only way you can align with employees’ personal purpose is for them to examine their own individual purposes, and for the work atmosphere to welcome employees to explore their motivations. In the best case, an organization with strong, embodied values and mission can serve as a role model for employees as they evolve and shape their life’s values.
Organizational purpose is embedded in an organization’s statement of mission and values. Organizational purpose is determined largely by the values and vision of founders and/or executives who have shaped the culture. There is copious literature dedicated to the who-what-when-why-how of formulating powerful declarations of mission, vision, and values. I will emphasize only two important questions here: 1) Who cares? And 2) Are you truly living your mission?
The employees of today’s workforce, with aging Baby Boomers and new-hire Generation Y-ers, are increasingly concerned with doing good in their work—ie, they want a sense of purpose in their work. Surveys of both generations show that the desire to have a positive impact on society ranks higher than payscale in choosing a job. (See Daniel Pink, Drive) This fact, combined with the growing contingent of socially-concerned investors, means that now more than ever, an organization’s mission shouldn’t merely voice a self-centered objective to dominate an industry (who cares?). Companies are being called up to something greater in their purpose, to strike a noble chord in the hearts of employees and investors.
Finally, it’s not enough just to have a statement of purpose. Your organization, from the top to the bottom, must live it. Your organizational purpose is what you collectively stand upon. It informs your strategies. It is the compass that executives steer by. If everyone is not living the same agreed-upon organizational purpose, then executives start navigating by their own guiding stars, and inconsistent direction and loss of focus results.
Task purpose is the immediate motivator behind day-to-day tasks, the answer to “why should I do what I’m about to do?” Employees do better work when they can see the connection between their actions and the impact on customers. Balanced Scorecard principles suggest that day-to-day tasks should be aligned with group objectives, which in turn should be informed by the company’s strategies. That’s a good start.
It would be naïve, however, to assume that task purpose is driven only by a desire to accomplish one’s objectives. Task purpose exists within the context of team rapport, status, recognition, fear of failure, and all the other wonderful factors that make humans human. Ultimately, task purpose is individual to the person performing the task. As an employer, you can’t control what motivates each employee. You can, however, pay attention to factors that create alignment of purpose between the individual, the organization, and tasks.
Align Purpose at All Levels
Once you can recognize purpose at all three levels, it’s easy to see how alignment of purposes can enhance or inhibit productivity. The ideal state is for all three levels of purpose to be aligned. In other words, you want the following statement to be true, no matter who says it, “I see the connection between the company’s purpose, our strategies, the way we work, and the specific work that I do. I commit to this company’s mission and vision, because doing so helps me fulfill my own purpose in life.”
Of course, for this alignment to work for you, it requires companies to welcome conversations of purpose in the workplace, to value personal purpose as a motivator, and to understand that each individual brings a unique purpose to the table. Companies that make the shift experience higher productivity, lower turn-over, and gain greater access to the full creativity that their employees have to offer.
Money isn’t everything. In fact, a sense of purpose is more important than the size of a salary when it comes to inspiring top performance from employees and team members.
That doesn’t mean that money isn’t important, and it doesn’t mean that you can slash paychecks without fear of consequences. But it does mean that money alone is not enough to inspire the type of passion, dedication, and peak performance that every business owner wants from their team.
To bring out the best in your people, you need to create a fulfilling workplace environment and a sense of purpose for your employees.
Below are suggested first steps in this process:
1) Define your purpose. And no, “make lots of money” doesn’t count. Ultimately, what is the goal of your business? At Apple, Steve Jobs’s goal was literally to change the world. Amazon.com sought to completely redefine the way books are bought and sold. Your sense of purpose may not be as grandiose…but it should include some type of value which you create for your customers or your community. What is the purpose of your business beyond generating income?
2) Integrate this purpose into your company culture. It’s easy to come up with a formulaic sense of purpose that looks great on your company website—but integrating it into the everyday environment in your office is a totally different challenge. A corny motivational speech isn’t going to get the job done. Start by practicing what you preach and by taking steps to acknowledge, encourage, and reward employees who are dedicating themselves to the company vision. Above all, this purpose must be authentic and transparent to employees and your customers!
3) Learn to listen. Ideally, you should engage your employees into this discovery process from the beginning. You may be surprised to hear what they think the purpose of your business is. Your employees desire fulfillment, whether they explicitly recognize it or not. So ask for their input. Solicit suggestions for creating a more productive and fulfilling atmosphere. Empower employees to pursue fulfillment whenever and however you can. Be aware that some employees may not personally align with the purpose of the company and that can come to light as part of this process.
Activity: October 30th Halloween Costume Contest
World Vegetarian Day is observed annually on October 1. It is a day of celebration established by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977 and endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union in 1978, “To promote the joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism.” It brings awareness to the ethical, environmental, health and humanitarian benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle.
World Vegetarian Day initiates the month of October as Vegetarian Awareness Month, which ends with November 1, World Vegan Day, as the end of that month of celebration. Vegetarian Awareness Month has been known variously as Reverence for Life month, Month of Vegetarian Food, and more.
World Smile Day is celebrated on the first Friday in the month of October every year. The idea of World Smile Day was coined and initiated by Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts. Harvey Ball is known to have created the Smiley Face in 1963. The World’s first World Smile Day was held in the year 1999 and has been held annually since.
After Harvey died in 2001, the “Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation” was created to honor his name and memory. The slogan of the Smile Foundation is “improving this world, one smile at a time.” The Foundation continues as the official sponsor of World Smile Day each year.
The message of the World Smile Day 2010 is “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile.”
World Make a Difference Day
For more than two decades, we have joined with USA TODAY to partner on Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of community service. On the fourth Saturday of October, millions of volunteers around the world unite in a common mission to improve the lives of others. Make A Difference Day is a day to celebrate the power of people to make a difference.
Enter your project today to be eligible to win a $10,000 grant from Newman’s Own for the nonprofit of your choice by logging into the Make A Difference Day.
App: Inspirational and Motivational Quotes – Daily Quote of the Day
The Inspirational and Motivational Quotes app featured in The Wall Street Journal article “Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chávez’s Favorite Gadgets”
Download from Apple or Google Play Store.
Book: Winning by Jack Welch
Jack Welch knows how to win. During his forty-year career at General Electric, he led the company to year-after-year success around the globe, in multiple markets, against brutal competition. His honest, be-the-best style of management became the gold standard in business, with his relentless focus on people, teamwork, and profits.
Since Welch retired in 2001 as chairman and chief executive officer of GE, he has traveled the world, speaking to more than 250,000 people and answering their questions on dozens of wide-ranging topics.
Inspired by his audiences and their hunger for straightforward guidance, Welch has written both a philosophical and pragmatic book, which is destined to become the bible of business for generations to come. It clearly lays out the answers to the most difficult questions people face both on and off the job.
Welch’s objective is to speak to people at every level of an organization, in companies large and small. His audience is everyone from line workers to MBAs, from project managers to senior executives. His goal is to help everyone who has a passion for success.
Welch begins Winning with an introductory section called “Underneath It All,” which describes his business philosophy. He explores the importance of values, candor, differentiation, and voice and dignity for all.
The core of Winning is devoted to the real “stuff” of work. This main part of the book is split into three sections. The first looks inside the company, from leadership to picking winners to making change happen. The second section looks outside, at the competition, with chapters on strategy, mergers, and Six Sigma, to name just three. The next section of the book is about managing your career—from finding the right job to achieving work-life balance.
Welch’s optimistic, no excuses, get-it-done mind-set is riveting. Packed with personal anecdotes and written in Jack’s distinctive no b.s. voice, Winning offers deep insights, original thinking, and solutions to nuts-and-bolts problems that will change the way people think about work.
Aromatherapy: Frankincense Aids in improving spiritual strength.
Frankincense Essential Oil Profile Frankincense is a tree resin that has been used and valued since ancient times for its medicinal, cosmetic, aromatic and spiritual applications. In Christianity, Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh were the gifts given to the baby Jesus by the three wise men.
Frankincense Essential Oil is used most often for spiritual, perfumery and incense /room fragrance applications but is useful as an expectorant and sometimes is used in respiratory and cough formulations.
Frankincense Oil is steam distilled from frankincense resin. Frankincense Essential Oil smells sweeter, cleaner and fresher than the resin, and more people prefer the aroma of the essential oil to that of the resin.
I adore the aroma of Frankincense Essential Oil and include it in room fragrance, incense and spiritual blends all year round.
Emotionally, I find the aroma to be grounding, calming and relaxing without being sedating. The aroma is woody, earthy and also has a slightly fruity/sweet, warm, spicy attitude to it. The country of origin and quality of the frankincense tears play a big part in the overall aroma of the essential oil.
Botanical Name: Boswellia carterii
Common Method of Extraction: Steam Distilled
Part Typically Used: Resin
Color: Light Yellow
Perfumery Note: Base
Strength of Initial Aroma: Mild – Medium
Aromatic Description: Fresh, woody, balsamic, slightly spicy and fruity.
Steelcase Statistic: Only 11% of people are engaged in their jobs.