Guest Blog by Bex Dawkes, A Blueprint for Better Business
A vital part of feeling fulfilled in our jobs, is knowing how we’re contributing towards making the world a better place. But with busy and disconnected lives, it’s easy to feel a sense of disillusionment about the impact we can have as individuals.
Before we can improve, we first need to realise how we impact the people and places around us. We’ve therefore created a four step guide to realising your impact at work, and suggested some ways in which we can each challenge ourselves to make that impact more beneficial.
1. Focus on relationships
Good relationships make us happier and healthier and are one of the most effective ways to make a positive difference in the world around us: yet just a third of people say that they think building relationships is important.
Moving from a transactional relationship to a meaningful one, is done by investing time in the other person. Time – not in formal meetings or presentations, but at the lunch table or having coffee – leads to mutual trust and respect. These kinds of informal conversations make us happier and more fulfilled, but it will boost engagement and productivity across the company too.
Challenge yourself: Set up two face to face conversations each week which are purely about getting to know someone better. Make a record of any changes noticed as a result, at one month intervals.
2. Discover more choices
All the choices we make have impacts: on people directly around us, on people far away from us, on our health and on our environment. The more we know about a topic, the more choices we are faced with. Knowledge is power, and power gives choice about who, how and where we impact.
Rather shockingly, evidence suggests that only 17% of the C-Suite would ask for advice from a colleague. But by engaging with different types of people and different sources of information, we can enrich our education, make more informed choices and feel more fulfilled about the impact we have on the world.
Challenge yourself: When making a choice at work, take time to do some research or talk it through with a colleague – try to better understand the impacts that the choice might have.
3. Question accepted wisdom
A hallmark of successful and progressive organisations is a refusal to accept something because “that’s the way it’s always been done”. Questioning decisions and processes can be a daunting prospect, but as over half of us have been asked to do things at work which make us feel uncomfortable, challenging the status quo can be incredibly rewarding over the long term.
Challenge yourself: If you don’t know why you’re doing something in a particular way – challenge it. Work with colleagues to invent a better way of doing it. Record how you felt and the outcome of your conversations.
4. Lead by example
We’re all passionate about something, but that doesn’t always shine through in our work. Embedding our beliefs and values into our daily behaviours and interactions with others can make us happier and more fulfilled – being our full and true selves can create a more honest (and human) working life. Currently, only 25% of us think that we are a role model for others – but by living our values publicly, we can set an example for others and motivate them to do the same.
Challenge yourself: Work out how your project aligns to your own values and beliefs and communicate it to your team. Open up a conversation for them to do the same and see if there is a difference in performance.
A Blueprint for Better Business is an independent charity, challenging and supporting business to be a force for good. This piece forms part of their 10 Steps to Fulfilment at Work series.