As another fiscal year begins, we want to give a huge thank you to all of our blog readers and supporters. With your help, the SCORE Women’s Success Blog won the 2010 “Top 10 Success Blog Award” from YoungEntrepreneur.com. There has also been significant and steady traffic increase, which we owe to your continued support. Thanks for emailing, digging and sharing our posts on Facebook , Twitter and other social networks. We really appreciate the love.
In order to more effectively focus on the needs of all our readers, we have merged the Women’s Success Blog and the Ask an Expert Blog. We now hope that this will be your one-stop shop for all news and resources related to small business.
As a result of the merger, we have received suggestions to change the name. This will provide for a more inclusive environment for all entrepreneurs. It will also be more representative of our readers. After all, good business advice is applicable to everyone.
The proposed new name would be the “SCORE Small Business Success Blog.” Tell us what you think. Leave your opinions and feedback below. We look forward to hearing from you.
Do your employees have meaningful jobs? A recent Los Angeles Times article reported on several studies that looked at the concept of “meaning” in work.
In one study, subjects were paid to build Lego models. They were paid the most for the first model, then a decreasing amount for each model after that. Half the subjects got to watch their models accumulate on the table, while the other half had their models torn apart as soon as each was finished. Subjects could choose to stop whenever they decided.
The first group—who could see the fruits of their labors—was willing to keep working even when their pay was cut in half. However, those whose task was made “meaningless” by having their work destroyed required 40 percent higher pay to keep going.
Another study found a similar result: When subjects put in an effort but either weren’t allowed to complete their tasks or got no result from them, they weren’t nearly as happy as if their efforts had been completed or had positive results.
Edward Deci and Richard Ryan of the University of Rochester have researched motivation for years and developed what they dubbed the self-determination theory. Successful workplaces, the theory says, encourage feelings of autonomy, competence and partnership among employees. Of course, the opposite is also true: Businesses that don’t foster such feelings will be less successful.
As entrepreneurs, we wear lots of hats and may do lots of things that are less than meaningful during the course of a day (sending faxes, waiting in an airport, comparing insurance quotes, dealing with telemarketers and shredding documents are a few less-than-meaningful things I did this week). But I think we can all agree that on the whole, our work is meaningful because we get to choose and direct what we do. In fact, if entrepreneurship weren’t meaningful, we’d all be employees.
But many entrepreneurs—and especially women entrepreneurs—are reluctant to delegate key tasks in our businesses. So we burden our staff with busywork, keeping all the “good stuff” to ourselves. Employees don’t get a chance to experience meaningful work, and we don’t get a break from our massive workloads.
If your workplace isn’t meaningful to your workers, you’re selling them—and your business—short. Think about delegation from this perspective, and it may take on a whole new meaning.
Need help letting go? A mentor from SCORE can advise you. Find one at the SCORE website.