Accelerating the Advancement of Women Leaders 


May 8, 2019

Employees want more than a paycheck
Today’s employees place especially high value on finding meaning and personal fulfillment at work. New research by PwC along with Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP) and Imperative (a talent development platform) suggests that strong work relationships and opportunities for personal growth and impact are key to developing workplace fulfillment.
In Making Work More Meaningful: Building a fulfilling employee experience, the research partners share findings from their survey of more than 2,000 employees and executive interviews. Their conclusion is that a better understanding of neuroscience can help business leaders create work environments that do more to unlock human potential and workplace satisfaction.
Wired for connection and contribution
Our brains are wired for connection with other people and feelings of belonging are correlated with higher oxytocin levels in the brain, sometimes called the love hormone. Dopamine, on the other hand, (the feel-good hormone) drives motivation and our desire to grow and improve.
When these chemicals are triggered during the workday, employees are more likely to feel satisfied. According to the Fulfillment at Work survey, fulfilled employees plan to stay with their employer nearly three years longer than unfulfilled colleagues.
Culture is key
Organization cultures where employees enjoy significant opportunities to find fulfillment in their work can attract and retain top talent and help current team members rise to their potential. Building a genuinely inclusive culture that values everyone for their unique strengths, uses mistakes for learning rather than punishment and focuses on end results paves the way to a strong workplace culture where fulfillment is expected, and found.
Because fulfillment is closely tied to a sense of belonging, opportunities for personal growth and the ability to make an impact, building organization strength in those areas is a great place to start. Consider these approaches:
Build relationships and belonging

  • Get to know direct reports and colleagues personally
  • Promote open communication about priorities and timelines
  • Recognize individuals for strong performance
  • Offer rotational assignments, mentorship and reverse mentorship to help employees build more diverse relationships
Help team members make an impact
  • Demonstrate how everyone’s contribution fits into the big picture
  • Define clear and specific objectives for problem solving
  • Reward results and not simply activity
  • Provide stretch assignments and incentive programs where employees can up their impact
Create opportunities for growth
  • Create safe spaces for mistakes and failure and treat them as key learning experiences
  • Request and share specific feedback to help everyone improve
  • Foster purposeful risk-taking and challenge your team to try new things
  • Empower employees with leeway to interpret the impact they can make: some people are most motivated by helping an individual and others by their contribution to a much larger goal

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