As you know if you’ve read our other blogs, REV is a platform dedicated to fostering a sense of meaning at work. Through storytelling, we help businesses build communities and enable employees to find meaning within their work and each other. At least, that’s the idea.
We get asked a lot about how REV can give ‘meaningless’ work ‘meaning.’ Typically, when people talk about ‘meaningless’ work, they mean jobs that may be monotonous or that don’t have a clear career path.
Our answer to this question is simple: there is no such thing as meaningless work. All work is meaningful. At the very least, all work can be meaningful.
Think about what a business really is for a second. At its core, a company is a community in miniature. Executives act as the ‘government,’ which creates the business and governs it. Managers serve as police or firefighters, enforcing rules and putting out fires. Standard employees act as citizens who inhabit the community and make everything tick.
Without any one of these vital groups, the community collapses. If every citizen stopped paying their taxes or voting, communities could collapse. Similarly, if every cashier in a retail chain spontaneously stopped working, that business would fail.
By this definition, every job — no matter the duties it entails — has meaning. Every job, no matter how ‘monotonous’ or ‘entry-level,’ plays a vital role in the success of a business. What makes ‘meaningless’ jobs meaningful is a leadership that acknowledges how critical every employee is to the success of a company.
If your job involved showing up every day and doing work for a faceless CEO you knew nothing about and a manager you didn’t like, your work wouldn’t feel meaningful. But what if you were excited to see your manager every day because you had a great working relationship with them and trusted their judgment? What if you looked forward to work because you enjoyed the company of your coworkers? What if your CEO had a vision you believed in and gave you great benefits and pay?
Work doesn’t become meaningful because of your title or how much you money make. Meaningful work is created by leaders who legitimately care about their employees and their business. Meaning at work is cultivated by companies that give employees a ‘Tribe’ or community to be a part of and shared goals to achieve. We know that leaders understand many of their employees feel uninspired. We also understand just how difficult it is for leaders in the modern workplace to make authentic connections with employees. Our mission at REV is to bridge the gap between leaders and employees. Through stories, we create spaces where leaders and workers can authentically interact with and learn about one another. The goal is simple: develop a workspace where everyone—regardless of their status in society or the company hierarchy—can feel as though their work has meaning.