Creating an Environment of Purposeful, Meaningful Work in Today's Competitive Market

Is your job work, or is it something you can't wait to get to every day? Do you feel like part of the team, or are you simply putting in eight hours and getting a paycheck? Are you encouraged to take calculated risks and be creative, or do you simply do what you are told to do? Do you challenge the status quo and take ownership? Does your work matter and make a difference?

Business has never been more challenging than it is today. In addition to the increasing costs of labor; utilities; health care and information technology, competition is increasing locally, nationally and globally. Smart operators are constantly looking at their business models to determine those parts that are core and those parts that need to pivot in order to stay in the game. Then, there are shareholders and board members who all too often stay too focused on the bottom line instead of looking at and truly understanding what moves the bottom line, and that is people. In this sense I am not referring only to the staff that run the company, but also to the people who purchase their products and services, and, or support their organizations, and, or their businesses.

Here's a novel thought: people are drawn to and support organizations and businesses that have shared values. Here's another novel thought: really good people and really good businesses become great when they create and maintain purposeful, meaningful work. Never lose sight of your bottom line, but always remember what moves that bottom line. Make your differentiator creating and maintaining purposeful, meaningful work.

The Health Club Industry is one of the more competitive industries I can think of. There are clubs in virtually every city in America and throughout the world, all at different sizes and membership costs. Most of the successful ones do many of the same things day in and day out: paint their walls, bring in new equipment, maintain spotless locker rooms, and they preach the importance of customer service and how to serve their members.

What is the difference? Does it simply boil down to size and cost? The Claremont Club has done all of these things for many years and we do them well. But, for us, the differentiator has always been community outreach and the work we are doing to promote Exercise Is Medicine. We have focused and continue to focus primarily on the chronically injured and ill because we know these are the people who need us the most and in many cases, can afford us the least. We as a club observe that billions of dollars annually go toward medical research, which is wonderful, but a very small amount goes toward treatment. Our treatments are producing outcomes that are improving our clients' quality of life.

Our Project Walk program rehabilitates Spinal Cord Injured individuals and those with other forms of paralysis and neuromuscular disorders. One of our clients is a young man by the name of Jason, who is paralyzed from the neck down and can only move his power chair by blowing through a tube. We have worked with him for several years and he is now regaining movement in his arms and legs. How is that for meaningful and purposeful work?

Our Pediatric & Young Adult cancer program and our Living Well After Cancer program are other examples of programs that are delivering positive outcomes and improving quality of life for the participants.

Everyone is hungry for good news. People are drawn to organizations and other people with shared values. We feel good when we are part of doing good things for others. As you can see, there is a direct correlation between good deeds and member retention. This is creating purposeful, meaningful work. What are you doing in your business, organization or Club to bring about an environment of purposeful, meaningful work?