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The Real Value In Making Work Meaningful

By Dennis McCafferty

The Real Value In Making Work Meaningful

50 percent of the market value of publicly traded firms is created by intangible assets, such as employee commitment and passion.

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6.8 percent is the increase in stock appreciation from 1998 to 2008 for companies ranked "top places to work" for employees, compared with a 1 percent increase for the average firm.

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72 percent of employees quit their jobs because they don't feel they're being recognized for their contributions.

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Only 13 percent of disengaged employees would recommend their company's products or services.

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78 percent of engaged employees would recommend their company's products or services.

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60 percent to 79 percent is the increase of probability of an Initial Public Offering succeeding when a company invests in its people.

Are managers out of focus?

According to Ulrich, "investment in employees" too often translates to fancy lunches or performance-based bonus plans without addressing the value of the work itself.

What creates meaningful work?

Constant challenge. Achievable assignments must continuously involve problems that are neither too difficult nor too easy to solve.

Other factors that create meaning?

Emotional safety - CIOs and other managers must foster friendships, fairness and self-esteem. Autonomy - work must be structured but not micromanaged.

Day-to-day interactions reinforce "meaningful" factors

Criticism of performance is positive when you convey interest in employees' personal/professional growth (as opposed to simply "bashing").

Help employees discover, cultivate their strengths.

Some are high achievers. Others are good adapters, deliberators, idea-creators or learners. CIOs must help employees recognize, utilize and expand these strengths with daily tasks, long-term projects.

Wisdom from Yogi Berra?

He once said, "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else."

Whats that mean for CIOs?

It means that ultimate goals/purpose/values must be conveyed to employees for them to emotionally invest. Unexplained shifts in direction cause anxiety and detachment.

Share in employees personal lives.

Take active interest in their families. Learn more about their interests - whether yoga, marathons or murder mysteries - to better engage employees.

This article was originally published on 07-12-2010