Listicle: leaders’ characteristics which can make people’s jobs more meaningful
Leaders who pay attention to what each individual values are more likely to hire people who find it easy to connect with colleagues. Photograph: Getty Images
People experiencing meaningful work report better health, well-being, teamwork and engagement.
Over the past few decades a great deal of research has shown that leaders play a significant role in helping employees understand why their roles matter. Four key personality characteristics can help leaders make other people’s jobs more meaningful:
1. Being curious and inquisitive:
Curious leaders help people find meaning at work by exploring, asking questions and engaging people in ideas about the future. They are also more likely to get bored and detest monotony, so they will always be looking for people to come up with new ideas to make their own work experience more interesting.
2. Being challenging and relentless:
Optimistic people who expect to do well often don’t try as hard as people who expect to struggle or fail. Leaders who remain ambitious in the face of both failure and success can instil a deeper sense of purpose in their teams and organisations.
3. Hiring for values and culture fit:
People only find something valuable if it aligns with their core needs and motives. Leaders who pay attention to what each individual values are more likely to hire people who find it easy to connect with their colleagues and the wider organisation, which helps to drive a sense of meaning.
4. Being able to trust people:
Most people hate being micromanaged. Overpowering and controlling bosses are serious source of disempowerment for employees, draining the impact of their work and making them feel worthless. In stark contrast, leaders who know how to trust people are more likely to give employees room to experiment and grow. – Copyright Harvard Business Review 2017
Previously published in The Irish Times.
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