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4 Definitions of Work and What they Mean

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Fri, Mar 10, 2017 @ 01:29 PM

 funny motivational speakersThis past week, I was a motivational speaker for a large software organization.  Earlier in the year, they defined different definitions of work, after every team member completed a survey.

The research found people were motivated differently, based on how they defined their work. Below are some of the definitions:

Work is a Paycheck. For some employees, work is merely a paycheck. It was a necessary evil to receive pay to support their lifestyle. Here, the task associated with work are routine things to be completed. Not surprisingly, these employees seemed least motivated. These employees are simply renting their skills to an organization for money.

Work is an Opportunity for Advancement. Some people see work as a chance to develop skills, become a leader, improve their resume and as a stepping stone for a better future. Team members here are motivated by skill development and increased responsibility and power. They may not be loyal to the organization but loyal to the job and the skills it helps them develop.

Work is to Achieve Goals and Profit the Company. Of course, most organization have to make money to exist. Some team members are fixated on increasing revenue and decreasing costs. These goal driven people are motivated by keeping numbers intact and 

Work has Meaning. Some purposeful people chose their work because the work is intrinsically meaningful. They define their work by how it impacts others.  Driven to make a difference to others, these team members were the most naturally inspired by their work.

How do people decide on their definition of work? I don't think they do, it develops on its own through the work itself, the leadership and the person's own goals, values, and definition of work.

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