Beyond the Build


Work That Matters

One of the things that I have thought about more recently is what makes someone truly happy in their work? We can talk about perks, fellow team members and benefits, and all those things are important, but there is another layer. It’s feeling like your work matters.

The key, according to expert David Rock, is connecting your work to a larger purpose. That’s probably easy for scientists in the lab working on a cure for cancer, but what about the rest of us? Seeking higher meaning can be tough when we are often bogged down with the daily tasks, emails, meetings and of course balance with family and relationships. To me, that why it’s important to set purposeful goals for your team members, then “coach up” a bit, finding an individualized path to achieving. Some might value autonomy, while others might care that things are equitable, they are gaining recognition or building relationships along the way. Whatever the motivation, that shared connection to higher meaning is key.

In construction, the purpose of our work can be providing access to services or medical care, creating housing in a tight market or giving a historic building new life. No matter what motivates us through the detailed building process, knowing that we are helping the community makes it all worthwhile. 

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Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.