The Increasing Importance Of Employee Purpose And Its Relevance

November 30, 2022

Most people are becoming increasingly aware of the amount of time they spend at their workplaces and employees are increasingly seeking purpose and meaning from their workplaces. In the US, two out of every three workers claim that the COVID-19 pandemic has made them reevaluate their goals. This shouldn't come as a surprise because the extended periods of isolation and long hours at work resulted in most people taking the time out to re-evaluate the work they are doing and its implications.  Even if we're not precisely clear about what it is, many of us believe we have a purpose in life. 

Many people have been motivated to think about their personal aspirations as a result of the pandemic. As a result, almost half of US employees are thinking about switching jobs or occupations. We work for the majority of our lives. Many of us dedicate eight hours every day, five days per week, to our work. In other words, the average person works 90,000 hours in their lifetime.  We devote more time to our jobs than to our loved ones or our favorite activities. This is why it only makes sense that you would want to love the thing you are devoting so much of your time and energy to.

In this blog, we attempt to address the increasing importance of employee purpose, why it has taken wind, and how your leadership team can make adjustments to integrate meaningful work as part of your company culture. 

Importance Of Purpose At Work

As human beings, we look for a feeling of purpose or an opportunity to contribute to the greater good because of our innate desire to feel connected to something higher than ourselves. Making a difference and helping others lets us feel a part of the community in a way that monetary gains cannot. This gives our lives a feeling of meaning and purpose. 

Ikigai, a Japanese concept, neatly captures our desire for meaning and how we might connect to it. People become more driven and resilient to failures as a result of the connection and contribution that they feel. Even when other measures point to failure, sticking with it can help you feel connected to your work and give you a sense of purpose.

Both your organization and employees can benefit from finding a sense of purpose in their work.  Leadership roles and promotions are more likely to go to individuals who value meaningful work. In case you need more evidence that people appreciate having meaningful jobs, nine out of ten workers say they would be ready to forgo a pay raise in exchange for one.  

Additionally, job satisfaction increases employee engagement, which is key to employee retention and the growth of the company. At a time when just 20% of employees worldwide express high levels of engagement, this is crucial for all companies.

Benefits of employee purpose

The importance of feeling useful and that your work is making a real-time impact is impeccable. In their jobs, around 85% of executives and top management feel a strong sense of purpose. According to McKinsey, this contrasts with the 15% of frontline leaders and staff. This discrepancy shows how seriously businesses should take the importance of finding purpose in the workplace. We have listed the 4 main benefits of companies being able to provide their employees with a sense of purpose. 

  • Enhances Efficiency

According to CIO research, increasing employees' sense of purpose at work can boost productivity by 22%. This is due to the fact that motivated employees will feel connected to the organization leading them to be more eager to work longer hours and generate more income for the company. 

  • Reduces Absenteeism

Through the enrichment of work and personal life, finding meaning in one's employment can improve employee well-being. Employees' mental health and well-being are impacted when they perceive a connection to a larger purpose in their work. They have more energy and can handle stress and failures at work better. This lessens absenteeism and its effect on the efficiency of the organization.

  • Increased Employee Engagement

Research shows that employees who feel a sense of purpose in their jobs tend to dedicate more of their time to their work and enjoy what they do. This way they are more engaged at work and are much more responsive to new tasks and added responsibility. Engaged employees mean higher productivity

  • Increase In Employee Retention

Employee engagement and motivation are more likely to be high if they believe that the company's mission and its own purpose are in line. This decreases their likelihood of leaving and boosts employee retention rates. Additionally, it lessens the expenses and ineffectiveness brought on by significant personnel turnover.

Helping Your Employees Find A Sense Of Purpose At Work

One of your responsibilities as a leader is assisting your team in finding their purpose. You can achieve it by following these four steps.

  1. Begin with your organization's purpose.

Purpose, according to 79% of business leaders, is crucial for corporate success. However, the organizational purpose only serves as a guide in 34% of leadership decisions.  Start by determining your organization's core values and principles before defining its goal. 

Once you have a clear understanding of the mission and purpose of your organization, connect them to your larger strategy, objectives, and purpose. This way you and your employees will be on the same page in terms of purpose, the reason they work, and the impact their work creates.

  1. Let your employees connect with their work

Encourage employees to derive their own meaning from their work. As much as you try to create a purpose for your employees, purpose can be a fleeting concept and can change over time. Provide a safe space for your employees to find their own purpose in work. This is definitely more vibrant and descriptive than their job names. 

Each employee's personal goal should support the organization's overall goal. When employees take pride in their work and levels of engagement increase dramatically. This was one of KPMG's findings too when they ran similar programs. 

  1. Hand the microphone to your employees

It might not always be possible for your employees to be in the line of work that aligns with their passions. Nevertheless, you might be able to assist them in incorporating their passion into their profession.  According to Deloitte research, our passion for our jobs is distinctive and marked by a desire to take on challenges and interact with others in order to learn more quickly how to make a meaningful effect. 

By establishing a work environment where team members are regularly encouraged to propose ideas and projects that are consistent with their personal and organizational goals, you will be able to create for them an environment to thrive and succeed. 

  1. Make way for your employees to fulfill their purpose 

63% of workers, according to McKinsey, anticipate that their employers will give them the chance to find fulfillment in their work on a daily basis.

Find ways to enable your employees to fulfill their own mission at work. You may, for instance, help them develop a five-year strategy that will direct them toward their goal.

To Conclude

Not every profession can derive a similar meaning or purpose. Higher degrees of workplace purpose are experienced in service-oriented occupations such as medicine, education, and social work. The average worker in other professions, such as administrative support, customer support, or transportation, may find their work to be less fulfilling.

Employers can use this data to identify low-meaning positions and provide them with added support. Organizations can also start cross-functional mentorship programs to let people in high-meaning jobs talk about what they find meaningful about their jobs.

A more fulfilling career might result from discovering your life's purpose. Additionally, it helps to improve one's physical, emotional, and motivational well-being.

Finding your purpose isn't always easy, even when you follow the preceding guidelines. One of the best ways of finding purpose is by volunteering or giving back to society. Chezuba is a skill-based virtual volunteering platform that uses gamification to engage your employees in giving back through volunteering. With a myriad of causes to choose from, your employees can volunteer for a cause of their liking. Book a demo with us right away to learn how we can assist you.

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