Five Things to Ask Employees Seeking Purpose in Their Work

By Harvard Business Review
February 22, 2018

Physician leaders can help individuals develop a sense of importance through ongoing discussion around these topics.

How can physician leaders help employees find meaning at work?

They can foster an inner sense of purpose — what matters right now, in each individual’s life and career — with simple conversation.

Regular check-ins that use five areas of inquiry are one way to help employees explore their inner purpose.

Leaders can ask:

What are you good at doing? Which work activities require less effort? What do you take on because you believe you’re the best person for the job? What have you gotten noticed for throughout your career?

What do you enjoy? In a typical workweek, what do you look forward to doing? What do you see on your calendar that energizes you? If you could design your job with no restrictions, how would you spend your time?

What feels most useful? Which work outcomes make you most proud? Which of your tasks are most critical to your team or organization? What are the highest priorities for your life and how does your work fit in?

What creates a sense of forward momentum? What are you learning that you’ll use in the future? What do you envision for yourself next? How is your work today getting you closer to what you want for yourself in the future?

How do you relate to others? Which working partnerships are best for you? What would an office staffed by your favorite people look like? How does your work enhance your family and social connections?

Copyright 2017 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp. Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate. 

Topics: Leadership

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