Giving Importance to Individual Purpose of Employees!
As individuals of society, we all want to know the purpose of our existence on Earth. We ask ourselves questions about why we are like this today, our plans for the future, and the very reason why we wake up every single morning.
The sense of purpose is what drives us to wake up in the morning with the excitement of facing the day ahead. Without this sense of purpose, it’ll be a challenging task to push your head away from the pillow and stand up to get yourself a cup of coffee. A lot of us have experience this kind of slump where it becomes stressful and depressing to feel so unproductive and empty. This empty feeling of waiting for the day to pass by thinking that it’s just another day we need to endure envelops our minds. This causes us to sink deeper into our darkest thoughts ---an unhealthy effect on our well-being. That’s why giving importance to finding and understanding our purpose applies to everyone especially to different employees of different organizations.
According to McKinsey & Company (2021) research from 1,021 US workers, 89% of the respondents from their survey said that they want purpose in their lives. By helping employees find something meaningful to live with, they would be able to strive towards something significant ---hence, the benefits for both the organization and the employees are endless. These benefits will include better employee engagement, increase willingness to work hard, and a greater sense of loyalty. Employers should look into several steps to ensure that their workplace is a great place to nurture their employees’ purpose. The research states that employers should know what their employees want and what they get from their workplace. 70% of the employees said that work defines their purpose and that they’re living their purpose at work. This is a clear sign for organizations to nurture and encourage their employees to live their purpose at work. However, frontline managers and frontline employees don’t seem to agree with the statement. These frontline managers and employees want more purpose from their work than what they receive. This is why they don’t feel fulfilled at work compared to employees in the upper management. Overall, 62% of the employees say that they want to get more purpose from work.
Now that we know that there is a distinct “purpose gap” between the upper management and the front liners in living their purpose at their day-to-day work, we need to know why.
The reason is that they didn’t have that much opportunity where they can nurture and reflect on their purpose. Furthermore, managers don’t share enough of the “big picture” where it would explain the connection between their work and the company’s purpose. That’s why they don’t find any significant meaning in their daily work, hence the need for more purpose at work.
Like all challenges, there are solutions to them.
The three possible solutions to creating a successful purposeful environment are:
Communicate and Positively impose the purpose of your organization. You have to take note that your organization has to reflect its purpose in every decision and task it makes because doing it half-heartedly won’t do anything ---making you appear like a joke. Since it is the only thing you can control and it directly affects your employees’ purpose at work, reflect with your team and talk about the role of the company in the world and what contributions it has made. Inspire a sense of purpose by making sure your leaders follow through by using measuring tools like purpose metrics to ensure that they work with their teams with the purpose of the organization in mind. Remember that doing something insignificant and disconnected from employees’ daily tasks won’t have any effect at all and might just spark criticism.
Help your employees reflect, connect, and do it again. Organizations should provide employees opportunities to reflect on their purpose and show how they can connect them to the company’s purpose. This could be in a form of leadership workshops or storytelling sessions where leaders can be open about their journey with purpose and connect with their employees. This kind of event will help nurture the relationship between leaders and employees ---creating a comfortable environment for employees to grow and nurture their purpose at work.
Organizations should find ways where they can provide opportunities for employees to realize the purpose of their daily work. They can do this by gathering everyone for town hall meetings and interactive small group sessions. This will provide an opportunity for employees to speak out about their concerns connected to purpose. Gatherings like these also provide ways for employees to communicate their concerns and ideas for improvement or innovation ---making them feel heard and more purposeful because they can see that their work can contribute positively to the organization and the world.
Organizations should rethink their perspective in putting importance on the individual purpose of their employees. The pandemic has brought everyone to a long pause where we had a chance to reflect and rethink our lives. This is the time we reflected on our work and its significant effect on our well-being. If organizations aren’t able to positively inspire a sense of purpose, they would face the challenges of losing talented workers. That’s why we should start giving importance to our employees’ purpose because it’s not just them that are going to benefit from it, but everyone as well. Remember:
A purposeful working environment is equal to better productivity and employee performance.
Check out this video on The Human Shift in a post-covid world that focuses on Purpose, Value and Adaptability in the workplace.