Organization & Leadership Consulting

What Does Hope Mean in the Workplace?

an employee with hope

Hope exists only within an element of risk. Without risk, instead of hope you have assurance. Business, by nature, is risky. No one knows for sure what the future will bring. But in a workplace of healthy human systems, hope is a belief the future can be better than the past and the people involved have a say in making it happen.

Hope for the Future of the Company

Very few healthy companies are content to remain where they are. Health implies a desire for growth, improvement, innovation, and renewal. How aware are you of the degree of hope your people have in the future of the company? How are you communicating your vision for the future and the pathway there? 

Managers who are transparent about obstacles and their hope in overcoming them are also more effective leaders. While not ignoring or denying reality, they give their employees hope in a future worth working for and investing in.

Hope Inspires Motivation

Once you’ve exhibited to your employees that:

  1. There is a future here for us,
  2. There are plans for how to get there,
  3. We clearly see and understand the obstacles,
  4. We are investing in means of overcoming those obstacles…

Your employees are motivated to push through as a team of teams and forge ahead. 

If hopeful motivation lags, it’s a good idea to revisit the checklist above and clarify your messaging around all those items. Sagging motivation is often attributable to a lack of hope in a relevant, obtainable, but yet out of reach goal of value.

Hope Shapes Action

Research indicates that when people back off a task, it’s often due to a failure of the brain to perceive value in the task. When we believe a completed task will increase value for oneself or someone else – whether going to the gym, eating vegetables, changing a baby’s diaper, or diligently devoting oneself to work – we have the motivation to forge through. 

To recap, when you consistently give your workforce an accurate picture of reality plus a believable message about their collective roles in achieving a preferred future, they naturally devote themselves to the daily, weekly, monthly, and annual tasks that will help you all arrive at that future. 

Suggested Reading: Leading Causes of Life: Five Fundamentals to Change the Way You Live Your Life by Gary Gunderson.

TurningWest can guide your managers and employees through leaning into their realities with agency, tools, and hope.  


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