Acting on what matters, according to Peter Block (The Answer to How is Yes) is “the act of making change in the world through a set of personal values that define who we are.”
And we cannot do that in life, if we don’t do it at the workplace, because that’s where we spend a large portion of our productive hours. To a lot of people, it’s a big ask to make a difference through work, because we depend on the money, and work seems to be the last place where we have a choice. After all, we don’t have a vote on what we do and how we do it when our boss tells us what they expect from us.
Democracy at work may seem like a funny notion, but in fact, employees already do vote for their bosses.
With their feet, with their energy, with their hearts.
Just like more and more consumers, a growing number of employees are openly demanding meaningful work. This trend has put pressure on companies, reflected in many studies on employee disengagement and on the difficulties of integrating millenials into the workplace.
Employees want to make a difference with their work.
They want their effort to create meaning beyond their company’s profit.
They want to be heard and seen, to be allowed to show up fully, not just with a professional poker face.
They want to have agency, decision making power in order to feel in control of their lives.
Many companies fully understand the need to change in order to remain attractive to their voters.
It’s vital for survival in a changing market place. Full energy and focus on the work is the reward that leaders get in return for creating meaning, and space for agency and authenticity.