By Mark A. Leon
How does one find value in their job? That is a question that has been studied, analyzed and reported on for hundreds of years. As the scope and look of jobs change, the variables of work change, but the one common denominator will always be the same: You/Employee/Associate/Team Member!
Is value measured by ROI? Is it measured by your salary? Perhaps by the performance results in your assessment? For some it is a commission check while others find value in their benefits and/or vacation time. Some feel the number of hours worked in a week will translate to value while job security is critical to others. We can continue listing personal value choices until we run out of data storage space for this piece but value can be simplified to several key elements.
- Value and personal work satisfaction does not translate directly to the level of seniority or responsibility in the organization
- Personal satisfaction is as important if not more important than performance assessments, wage, and rewards/recognition
- The level of commitment one puts into their role has positive correlation to job satisfaction levels
- If an employee is happy with what they are doing, he/she will give more effort and feel more dedicated to the job and the company
- “Giving 100%” is not a cliché but a way of life
At this moment, many of you are wondering why I have titled this installment, The Marcus Effect?
Marcus is a hospitality maintenance technician whom I met in Myrtle Beach and now resides in the Charlotte area. Marcus is a very talented and versatile professional with exceptional knowledge of home repair, plumbing, cleaning and general maintenance. That alone should provide him job security and value with the hotel and its guests but Marcus goes beyond the traditional elements of a job description and takes a personal interest in his guests. To Marcus, the hotel guests are an extension of his family. Does he invite them home for Thanksgiving if they are alone and away from family? No but he would.
What differentiates Marcus from the rest of his staff is the incidentals he performs beyond the scope of his role.
1.) If a co-worker had an emergency he would work a double to cover or even an overnight shift
2.) If a guest needed a ride to a restaurant or the airport, he would take them
3.) If a guest appeared sad in the lobby, he would tell a joke or provide comfort and company
4.) If a cup of coffee was near empty, he would offer to refill it. Of course coffee is free in the lobby.
5.) He always puts guests needs ahead of his own. If he is on a break and an emergency arises, he will suspend his own free time.
6.) He shows genuine interest in his co-worker’s families and their well-being
What would spur on this type of extraordinary behavior from a maintenance technician.
Does he believe in the mission of the company?
Does he believe in the value he provides to the customers/guests?
Does he believe his behavior will lead to a promotion?
Does he believe in karma and is hoping all this will lead to better things for him and his family?
Is he just happy?
Does he love the pay and benefits?
Is he the type that is good-natured?
Does he want to be challenged and diversified in his work activities?
All of the above, but so much more.
I heard a comment once “There are no bad jobs, just bad workers”
If you owned your own company would you want one administrative assistant that worked 150% of the time and loved his/her job as that attitude extended to customers, colleagues and suppliers or ten CEO’s that worked at 50% capacity and had a negative persona extending out to its customers and shareholders? That is a very interesting question. Rather unrealistic but it poses room for thought.
What has made my friendship with Marcus flourish is that I was around for the birth of his daughter, I have been invited to stay with his family when I have been in town and I have even stored my car there while on business travel. Couple that will a joke when I need one and a level of dedication that you traditionally do not see in most friendships or business relationships and you have a gift. He possesses warmth that has no separation between work, family and life. He is who he is: A truly dedicated human being who believes in the good of others and the desire to help others.
In the workforce, there have been studies on what motivates employees. Is it money, benefits, value added, level of responsibility or opportunity for career growth. All elements play into one’s decision to join a firm and to stay. What drives Marcus is the knowledge each day he is positively affecting the lives of others. What he loves a great deal is that each day, he meets new people from various places bringing with them cultural elements and lifestyle differences. No matter what they social status or way of life, he adapts and greets with a smile.
To me, Marcus encompasses all the soft elements of what I look for in an employee. If I could hire ten of him or even just one, it would make my company a better place to work.
When you look at your own job, regardless of how others view it, if you are satisfied and adding value, you can’t ask for more than that.
To Marcus and the Marcus Effect. I hope we all feel it now or someday.