1) A piece of work, especially one done for hire or profit; 2) A paid position of employment; 3) Anything one has to do, a task.
‘Wake up and smell the coffee’ of a shrinking labour pool! With temporary or self-employed work, people often find the freedom to be passionate about what they do, and they feel they can achieve a measure of balance they are afraid of losing from their lives if they commit to a full-time position. This reality does not bode well for corporations unless they do something radically different to attract and retain.
Expand your view of what people are actually seeking. So often, jobs reflect the thinking that people seek only economic gain – they work for pay! Of course, we acknowledge that people have a deeply rooted desire for a reasonable amount of satisfying work they are fit to perform. Beyond that, however, a limited view of why people work merely creates an organizational “crisis of the soul.”
Remove your traditional thinking about jobs. While Henry Ford’s assembly line dates to the 1920’s, much of how we structure and manage work today has changed very little since that time. At one point, the notion of chunking work down into series of tasks may have seemed novel. At this time, it merely dehumanizes the job, alienates people from their work and creates disengagement.
Design jobs to create meaning, challenge and accomplishment. Solid job design means people have the authority to make decisions and perform in flexible ways. The person doing the job knows it best – so get out of their way! Economists speak of the “rise of the knowledge worker.” We prefer to talk about the “death of the joe job” and people’s refusal to stay in jobs that are unrewarding.
Be willing to entertain new work options. Soul-inspiring leaders are willing to entertain new work options that serve the person, the company and their business goals. This kind of leadership enables everyone to maximize their own possibilities. It opens up new levels of productivity, creativity and opportunity for the organization and employees – a real new economy ‘job’ contract.
Create motivated performance. Motivated performance consists of a what, why and how. Organizations need employees who understand what they do, why they do it and how they make a difference – true performance motivators. It is the shift from doing one’s job to collect the pay to seeing how one’s actions affect business goals and therefore contribute to everyone’s success.
Imagine a new world of work. Imagine a world where the contract with employees truly rewards results; where employees are proportionately paid for their contribution rather than by title or position. It’s a world where status differences between part-time and full-time are irrelevant, as people freely move between periods of less intense and more intense work rhythms.
Questions For Reflection
Reflecting on how the above trends will affect you personally in the next five to ten years, what will be different about jobs in your field or industry?
Do you currently face issues in attracting and retaining qualified workers, and do you estimate this will get better or worse in the future?
What would you most like to change about your job, and what does this suggest about staying in your current position, versus changing jobs or careers?