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PODCAST: What top performers want from their careers

Written on Nov 5, 2020

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager 

Career goals and priorities naturally evolve, but no matter what your role it’s valuable to consider what impact this job has on both you and your organization. 

Man wearing suit and smiling for camera.

“When I'm talking with people, whether it be recruiting or internally with retention, they want to have purpose,” said Steve Black, senior manager of human resources at Brixey and Meyer. 

“They want to have purpose in life, and they want to be able to say, ‘What I'm doing at work aligns with this grander journey of where I'm going in life and how I want to grow.’” 

Black joined the State of Business podcast this week to discuss an article he wrote on the four things people want from their jobs. It was part of a series of blog posts he wrote on input and output culture. Input culture is focusing on the metrics of how much a person puts in, such as working 60 hours a week, which lacks an emphasis on any value that’s been added. An output culture, Black said, is concerned with what’s achieved from those efforts and how that aligns with strategic priorities. 

While considering the different cultures, he said the four things people want from their jobs are: 

  • To know that their contributions make a significant impact or difference; 
  • To be a part of something big; 
  • To feel a sense of belonging; and 
  • To go on a meaningful journey. 

“Those were all things that top performers want,” Black said. “And it contributes to the overall aims and goals of the organization, their team and also their own personal goals.” 

Finding fulfillment from a job doesn’t mean it has to have life-or-death stakes, such as an emergency room doctor, said Black. But you can find purpose and joy from looking at these areas and considering how they factor into your career and your life. This also means being part of an organization that is supportive of its staff in these efforts. 

When talking with others about personal growth and performance management, Black said one of “beneficial, cheapest and easiest ways,” is genuine recognition in the workplace. This doesn’t mean offering empty praise, however. 

“Feedback is so vital,” Black said. “One of the primary things I think most people are looking for in any relationship is an ounce of caring. That this person cares about me as a person and my development and they take the time to point out the good, the great, the not so great and the bad.” 

To hear more about the four things people want, listen to the episode here

For learning to help develop your team or to help you grow in your role, enroll in OSCPA’s Workforce Development program.