The second job misery indicator, according to Patrick Lencioni, is irrelevance (see part 1 from 9/30- Happy associates equal delighted customers/clients). Lencioni would say that human beings need to be needed, and they need to be reminded of this pretty much every day. Remember the story about the janitor at Michigan State? Did Tom Izzo find a way to help make the janitor’s job more relevant?
We see similarities between relevance and purpose — which is one of three traits that motivates us, according to Daniel Pink in his book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Pink defines purpose as a desire to be involved in a cause larger than oneself. We know a lot of you are probably saying, “Yeah, right.” It may be easy to motivate the team if you’re sending a man to the moon, but what most of us do on a day-to-day basis is pretty plain vanilla. Still, Frank Moran, founder of Plante Moran, was able to create just that — the feeling of being involved in a larger cause — at an accounting firm, of all places. He would say, “Plante Moran is the Mayo Clinic for businesses. At one end of the building is a long line of successful business owners looking for help with their businesses, and at the other end of the building is a long line of well-educated, talented, resourceful professionals desiring to help businesses achieve their goals.”
How do your associates feel about the relevance of their job? When they refer to the company, do they say “we” or “they”? If you have a profitable business, you are very relevant to your customers/clients. As the leader, do you connect the dots for your team?