As individuals, we always look for our role in everything we do, from love, friendship, sporting activity, social activity to and especially economic activity that started to figure as one of the most important activities in today’s world. When companies and individual are establishing roles of employees in business process, usually their expectations are not always the same. Result of big gaps in those expectations could on short term lead to employees’ separation and on long term company’s problems with finding good human resources. When people as resources enter into business world, it makes sense to position them according to their input and meaning of it. And companies can use this knowledge about people’s position in relation to where do they see them self in this big picture.
Japanese concept Ikigai, which could broadly translate as “your reason for being”…or an approach toward happiness, can also serve as map for carting peoples motivation or their work effort into proper category so that both parties employees and companies can have a common ground in this area and use this common ground to better define employees’ roles inside business processes.
It is true that use of Ikigai concept is primarily connected with people who realise that money is not the only source of happiness but history is full of different uses of good concepts, so for the purpose of improving people’s utilisation as working resources, maybe we could re-define approach into directions as I speak in previous chapter. How many human resource exercises really work on defining roles of humans in a light of their meaning to business processes. One situation from my career has taught me about importance of constantly explaining, teaching, developing purpose of employees work in connection to company strategy in order to achieve better utilisation of human resources and better business results. And it is a management job to do it, no question about it. When we did “Work Climate measurement” everybody was super happy and they all loved their management, but at the same time nobody really understand what company strategy was and they felt like they didn’t understand exactly what they should do. I asked management team, that when they are going out for a beer with their team, they should use this time not only to work on how employees should love them, but also on what company strategy is and how each role in company organisation is contributing to successful implementation of that strategy…something we were working with management for quite some time until that moment.
I firmly believe that people need meaning in everything they do. If we believe in power of emotions in people motivation and we don’t see power of meaning in the same process, then something is wrong with this approach. And in order to define meaning, we need to understand positions of parties involved, since even if meanings are usually presented to subjects from outside sources, accepting them is individual decision of subject who then acts upon it. By using Ikigai concept, maybe we can do it easier. Worth trying?