Think back to your best job—a time when you felt totally engaged in the work you were doing. What was it about that job that made it so special? What was happening in the work environment that caused you to feel that this was a place where you could grow and succeed?
Those are the questions that researchers at The Ken Blanchard Companies have been exploring in ongoing research into the factors that create Employee Work Passion. Their findings show that an engaging work environment is comprised of many different factors. And while the rankings and impact of each factor varies from individual to individual, all must be present to some degree for an employee to feel the sense of well-being that leads to higher levels of performance and satisfaction.
Here are the factors the Blanchard researchers have identified. How many of these factors were present in the work environment of your “best job” memory?
- Meaningful Work—you understood and resonated with the organization’s purpose and believed you were working on projects that mattered and produced positive results
- Autonomy—you were allowed to choose how tasks were performed, you were trusted to do your job, and you had the authority to make decisions
- Feedback—you received adequate feedback on your performance and you were recognized for improvements and ideas
- Workload Balance—you had ample time to accomplish your work
- Task Variety—you experienced variety in both the type of tasks and the complexity of tasks you performed
- Connectedness to Leader—your boss made an effort to build rapport with you
- Connectedness to Colleagues—your colleagues made an effort to build rapport on a personal and professional level
- Collaboration—the organization encouraged the sharing of ideas, teamwork, and collaboration on projects and tasks
- Distributive Justice—resources, compensation, and workloads were fairly balanced
- Procedural Justice—policies and procedures were consistently and fairly applied
- Growth—you felt supported for current and future career growth
- Performance Expectations—your work was compared to an agreed-upon standard and you understood what was expected of you
Now that you’ve looked at your best work environment of the past, think about your present work environment. How does it compare in these twelve areas? As an individual employee, think about what you can do to improve your experience.
As a leader, what can you do to improve the experience of others?