Adjusting to being a full-time employee has been a better transition than I expected. I’ve become an expert at packing lunch, juggling errands with friends, and even become accustomed to waking up before the sun. But as I learn to fit myself into the working world, I also try and take notice of both my good and bad days, specifically as they relate to my time at the office. With work being such a large portion of my day, it’s important to me that I try and pinpoint how my job makes me feel about myself and do what I can to make that time more positive.
So I thought about what characterizes a good working experience and pinpointed it to the following three things: purpose, appreciation, and friends.
Purpose inspires dedication and motivates people to be involved in their job. When they have an understanding that their work contributes to an outcome and that every seemingly inconsequential email they send leads to something bigger, then they can focus on that idea to get them through rougher waters or slower days. Purpose makes people feel as though they are a part of something and it is perhaps the single most valuable thing an employer can provide to their employees.
Everyone desires to be valued by their peers and to be acknowledged for their achievements. In connection with purpose, people seek validation for the contributions they’ve made. Without that appreciation, employees can feel as though their hard work is wasted or that no one cares about them. Even if its technically part of the job description, I believe that it’s important for employers to recognize the contributions of their employees and to reward them for their dedication and hard work.
Employees who have friends at work are cited as being incredibly loyal to the companies that they work for. Everyone wants to feel included, especially in the place where they spend a majority of their week. By having someone to air frustrations or share successes with, people feel more relaxed and welcomed in their working environments. Employers who do their part to encourage friendly interactions between coworkers are often rewarded with happier and more loyal employees. When coming to work isn’t just about the job anymore, when it’s also about establishing connections and bonding over shared experiences, then the working environment becomes more positive as a whole.