Meaning and “Important Someones” in Employee Motivation

Excerpt from The Search for Meaning at Work: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Purpose to Engage and Fulfill Your Workforce by Steve Van Valin, SVP of Culture Transformation

Through an innovative study, Professor Adam Grant demonstrated the motivational power of understanding how you’re adding value to people’s lives. The study involved a group of students raising money from alumni. He took one group of these students to the end-users of the money — the scholarship recipients and other people who were benefiting from the money raised. 

When these students returned to their work of doing outbound calls, they were eight times more successful than the students who had not visited end-users

My Experience in Connecting Employees & Customers

At QVC, I did a similar exercise by inviting employees to meet with our red-carpet customers (our best customers who were ferociously loyal to QVC). This face-to-face meeting had a significant impact on how those employees felt about customers and their role at QVC. Customers went from being statistics to real-life people. The customers were such fun to be around, and the meeting gave our employees a chance to see QVC through their eyes. 

It amplified meaning because employees made the connection to how their work at QVC created an experience for customers that they truly loved.