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What to Do When Work Feels Meaningless

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https://hbr.org/2020/06/what-to-do-when-work-feels-meaningless

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What to Do When Work Feels Meaningless
Step one: focus on what you can control.

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A feeling of purpose

A feeling of purpose

During crises, we can feel a heightened sense of purpose and connection. Crises lead many people to find deep value in their work, develop professionally, and grow personally.

While most of ...

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Small actions

You may feel overwhelmed and obsess over the big things you can't influence. Instead, try to act on whatever aspect you can control, regardless how small.

Try a number ...

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Consider your unique skills

Proactive employees use an approach where they redesign their work to better fit their strengths and interests.

During the current crisis you can fight the recession by keeping your bus...

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An opportunity to connect

If you're in a tight situation, you may not be able to do much to enhance the meaningfulness of your work. However, you can find meaning by envisioning the future.

Think what your p...

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Uncertainty Triggers Fear

Constant communication with the team is crucial for a manager, and the current state of affairs, when the world is in turmoil and most employees are sitting at home, it is increasingly difficult fo...

Two Tasks of a Manager

  • The first task for a manager is to be transparent, explaining to the team exactly what is known, and what isn’t known, and not to keep any team member in the dark.

  • The second task is to provide hope and a sense of possibility to the employees facing an uncertain future ahead.

Steel Yourself

Before any word is uttered to the employees, you need to understand your role and channel your leader 'avatar' in a time of crisis, as if preparing for a battle. Your steel nerves will be contagious(!) to your team members. You need to sound convincing, and it’s a good idea to follow the basics, like eating well, plenty of sleep and regular exercise.

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The Definition Of Success

The Definition Of Success

If a person achieves what he set out to do, and is able to reach the goal they set for themselves, they are considered to be successful.

There are three positive traits tha...

Perseverance In Doing The Right Thing

If we keep out a million distractions surrounding us and think about our goal day and night, we will succeed in our goal, no matter what. The key here is continued focus, and also making the right thing as our goal.

If the aim is only money, it may not help us much, but if we keep our aim towards learning or striving to become better at something, we achieve success in monetary terms as a bonus.

Emotional Intelligence and Success

Emotional Intelligence, the ability to understand yourself and the people that you live and work with, is an excellent trait to balance and correct yourself.

Everything and everyone is connected to one another forming a huge ecosystem. Our endeavours, whether to get a job, to lose weight or to find a life partner is always related to others.

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A long-term response

Global crises are always challenging to navigate. When the time for immediate response passes, we have to dig in for the long haul.

Factors that influence operations going forward will ...

An employee-driven approach

Employees' health and well-being should come first. There may be a perceived choice between productivity and well-being. But, engagement is a natural by-product of well-being.

People are worried about health, job security, their kids' education, life on the other side of the crisis. Micro-managing will not create focus. Tactics like time-tracking software will only compound the problem. Instead, focus on easing their fears. The more distractions we as leaders can clear away, the more effective our people will be.

Guiding principles for a crisis response

  • Part of the response is to hold performance and growth check-ins to acknowledge the contribution each employee is making and help them manage their longer-term professional goals.
  • Err on the side of overcommunicating. Create a communication plan and be consistent. E.g., a daily email from the heads of each unit, or video messages from the CEO. Share even the bad news, to prevent employees from inventing their own stories to fill the void.
  • Keep a tight feedback loop. Know how your employees are coping, how their work is affected, and how they think leadership can help.
  • Be mindful of the resources you're consuming. Don't consume additional masks, disinfectants, and other supplies that hospitals need.

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