Having a sense of purpose at work can motivate us to work harder. It also makes us more fulfilled in our roles, even if our industry doesn’t pay as much as another.
More and more of us are being driven by a sense of purpose, rather than profit.
Making money and paying bills is great, obviously. Unfortunately, COVID-19, climate change, and other factors have made many of us re-evaluate our lives. They’ve made us want to feel more in control and like we’re leaving our marks on the world.
Making a difference to other people’s lives, businesses, or the environment can deliver a sense of purpose at work. This motivates us to do more, improves job performance, and leaves us more satisfied at the end of the day.
No matter where or when employees work, it’s important they get the fulfillment that comes from a purposeful job.
Here are some tips to help you give your employees a greater sense of purpose at work:
Make your values clear
If you don’t know what you stand for, how can you hire employees who believe in the same things?
Even if you do know what your values are, it doesn’t much matter if you don’t share them with the outside world—or with candidates during the interview process.
While it can be useful to share values on your website, social media, or on your company’s intranet, it’s not just about stating what they are. It’s about living them.
If you value inclusion, show how you make everyone feel like a part of the team in your email campaigns, employees’ LinkedIn profiles, and website content.
Similarly, if you value diversity, show how you embrace employees from different walks of life. Demonstrate how you help them overcome challenges and further their careers.
Alternatively, if you value open-mindedness, make sure that in meetings, you listen to everyone’s opinions and suggestions. Even if they seem unusual or random, it’s key that your response is consistent with your values.
Values mean nothing if you’re not living them or showing the outside world what they really are. Building a values-driven workplace is an important step towards ensuring employees can find purpose at work.
Ask your employees what matters to them
If you don’t ask what matters to your employees, how can you be sure you’re helping them live purposeful lives?
Every employee will value different things, and what they value will change over time. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask them, though.
If you make charitable donations, you could ask them which charity they’d like the company to donate to this year.
When you’re looking for a new cause to get behind, you could ask team members what matters to them and why.
Above all, if you’re stuck for ideas on how to provide a greater sense of purpose at work, you could just ask!
Make them feel heard
Employees should be able to voice their opinions at work without worrying they’ll be punished for going against the grain.
You don’t want them to say anything that will upset or offend others, of course. For things like business decisions though, they should be able to say what they think without retribution.
When employees can voice their opinions freely, they feel more content, even if those opinions don’t lead to further action.
In terms of purpose at work, it’s all about whether or not employees feel listened to, rather than driving any sort of internal decisions.
Value their feedback
Employees want to know their input matters. Taking action based on their opinions shows them that you listen to them. It also reinforces that your values align with theirs.
You won’t always be able to act on employees’ feedback. As I mentioned though, listening to them is still an important part of showing that you value their input.
Share business goals with them
When employees know what’s happening with your business, they’ll feel a greater sense of connection to it. As a result, they’ll also feel a greater sense of purpose at work.
Because they feel more connected to the company, they’ll be more likely to want to help out. With more insight into the business, they can more easily visualize what they’re working towards.
It stops being a faceless corporation, and becomes something they’re a part of, too. Being a part of something bigger is a great way to give people more purpose at work.
Allow them to set their own goals
Once you’ve shared your business goals with the team, you could allow everyone to set their own goals based on the wider business objectives.
This will further their sense of making a difference to things within your business. Even more so, it will give them a sense of control in their role.
For many of us, climate change is a constant fear, especially after the events of this summer.
By showing that you’re an ethical, eco-friendly brand, you’ll attract employees who feel a strong sense of purpose towards their work and who are driven to make a difference in the world.
If you don’t value being environmentally friendly, depending on your industry, you may find it increasingly hard to hire. This is especially true as climate change makes a bigger and bigger impact on our world.
Communicating your values to your employees and the outside world is key to giving employees a greater sense of purpose at work.
When people understand your values, they know if you’re the right business for them to work with or not.
It also helps you make better hiring decisions. Candidates who don’t fit your values will filter themselves out, providing you with better quality candidates from the start.
A greater sense of purpose at work also improves employee wellbeing, helps with talent retention, and gives you the satisfaction that you’re making a difference both to the world and in your employees’ lives. Is there anything more purposeful than that?
If you’re looking to expand feelings of purpose at work, it’s important to build strong connections both between colleagues, and between employees and the business itself. Workrowd can help.
Our user-friendly platform makes it easy to supercharge your employee experience, with a central hub for communications and activities alongside real-time analytics. If you want to unlock new insights and empower every employee with the tools they need to thrive, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.