I’m on a train travelling between Huddersfield and Manchester. I’ve come from Peterborough so what joy when the refreshment trolley arrived. “Tea and a Kitkat please.” Beyond the pleasure of having a cuppa laid out carefully on my pull out table, I noticed this lad serving. A crisp white shirt, shiny shoes and a willingness to look at me, the customer with pride. What a delight! Clearly a young guy who I guessed was new to the job and was taking it seriously, getting it right and looking proud.
My destination was to observe a meeting of people involved in delivering a government contract. Their work is demanding, dealing with vulnerable people who are have complex problems and limited communication. What was striking was the commitment these people have to their work. Their duty of care surpassed by their willingness to “go the extra mile” as good people offering help. A number said that they had wanted to work in this team because of the opportunity to make a difference in spite of lower pay than in equivalent jobs elsewhere.
I am reminded that people want to find meaning and purpose in their work – and if they can, their capacity and willingness to contribute increases.