This is the first of a four-part series of articles this year focusing on creating a workplace where people matter. A few months ago, my dad shared an article with me and it has been one of those gems that has not only influenced the way I view value but also provided a concept that I feel is worthy of sharing far and wide.
What does Mattering mean and how does this relate to our value?
Each of these concepts needs to be unpacked to be fully understood, so let us start with value. Do not confuse value with values – they are inextricably linked but are two different concepts. My values are those guiding lights that govern my behavior and attitude and influence the decisions I make whether good or bad.
We have core values, such as fairness and honesty, that will always be part of the fabric of our lives and a barometer against which we can measure the people around us and the actions we take (or do not take). We lean into those people and environments that engage our core values and respect them, and we learn to disengage from people and situations where our values are compromised. Or so we should.
We also have influencing values that may change as our life does – prior to having your own family, adventure and humor might be highly regarded values. Once kids and/or a house bond comes along, those values might slide down the rungs and be replaced with financial security and gratitude.
Regardless of what your personal values are (you can complete this awesome free assessment to determine your values https://www.viacharacter.org/), it is important to know and name your values because they are a critical aspect of your life and the decisions you make every day. Understanding what drives you and what guides you will also give you insights into choosing a company to work for, a career you want to pursue, people you choose to be around, and the daily habits you adopt.
What is your value?
My value is the worth I bring or am in a situation. This is more than the currency exchange of being remunerated for your skills and time. This is more than receiving thanks or acknowledgement for a job well done. This is the sum of all parts and knowing your value enables you to determine your value. Do you get me now?
This leads us to Mattering. Zach Merchurio describes Mattering as the fruit of “I am valued” and “I add value” and he goes on to distinguish between mattering and belonging. This is important, because you can have a sense of belonging without feeling like you matter – I might belong to a family, a friend group, a work team etc. but I might not necessarily feel like I matter to them.
Over the next few months, I will discuss mattering in deeper detail because it is a significant factor in creating sustainable, successful, and mutually engaging workplaces. The world has changed and continues to change at such a pace that it feels like we are always on the back foot.
The one thing that has really impacted the commercial environment has been the shift in balance between organizations and their employees. The top-down, commander-in-chief style of work has been forced to evolve to a more collaborative and people-oriented approach. Companies that think they are making their employees happy with remote work opportunities and funky office space will find themselves churning talent if they do not provide the culture to nurture people’s value and mattering with it.
Who am I if I do not matter in my work environment, which takes up such a sizeable portion of my time and life? The question of your identity and worth becomes even more pressing when your work environment does not recognize your contributions or value your presence.
It is important to remember that our worth is not solely defined by our work. We are multifaceted beings with distinct roles and relationships in our lives. While work is undoubtedly an essential aspect of our existence, it is not the only one. It is crucial to seek fulfilment and validation from other sources. Ultimately, the key to a fulfilling life is finding a balance between various aspects of our lives and creating a sense of purpose and fulfilment in all of them. This is a work in progress, and I do not believe that there is a specific destination to this journey, but rather several stops along the way as we level up on our self-improvement and self-awareness.
Let me leave you with this rumination before my next article is published ~ What is my value add in my various environments and roles?