Employee engagement can seem like a redundant term, especially during an economy that remains sluggish and full of concerns. With every angle exhausted, companies increasingly turn to the “one thing left” in their arsenal — something more intangible than concrete ideas: a sense of purpose.
Because a strong sense of purpose can increase employee engagement and motivation, leading to better customer service, less turnover, and ultimately more profits.
Every business owner wants to grow their company, and a big part of growth is attracting and retaining top talent. But in today’s competitive markets, this is easier said than done—especially for small and medium-sized companies. The issue comes down to the value you place on your employees.
Treat them like interchangeable parts, and they’ll quickly realize that they can find better opportunities elsewhere. Giving them a shared sense of purpose is one way to achieve this goal.
So, here’s why every business owner should give their employees a sense of purpose – and tips for doing just that.
Why Is It Important?
When you give your employees a sense of purpose, you empower them to do their job and make a difference. A sense of purpose helps them know why they are doing what they do. This is the foundation for trust.
Telling employees how to do their job and how to treat customers will not work. You have to give them a sense of purpose and make sure that everyone understands the philosophy behind it.
The whole point of this is to motivate your employees to take ownership of the company’s mission and allow them to feel connected by giving them a clear understanding of what matters.
Once you have given your employees this sense of purpose, you can now allow them to set their own goals so that they can be held accountable for achieving certain results. By giving your employees this freedom, you can let them feel like they have some control over what they do and how they do it.
Benefits Of Giving Your Employees A Sense Of Purpose
The intrinsic benefit of giving your employees a sense of purpose is to empower them to do their best with the knowledge that they are contributing to something bigger than themselves.
The obvious benefit is that you will have happier and more motivated employees. This is probably the most important benefit of giving your employees a sense of purpose in their work.
In addition, you will also see an increase in employee retention. It has been found that people are twice as likely to leave an organization if they don’t feel like they have a sense of purpose within the company.
By empowering them to make a difference, they will feel more connected to the company as a whole and less likely to leave out of frustration or boredom. Another benefit is greater employee engagement and productivity. If you have empowered your employees with a sense of purpose, they can be confident in what they are doing and work harder to achieve it.
Trust and Mutual Respect
To create an environment that fosters trust, mutual respect, understanding, and appreciation of the employees, employers should first evaluate themselves and their management style. If they are inconsiderate or disrespectful towards their employees, they shouldn’t expect anything different in return.
David Wilkerson of Pick Welding Helmet agrees that “There should be mutual respect for each other’s ideas and feedback so that communication channels are open. This will develop a sense of belongingness amongst the team members, and this leads to greater productivity and profitability for the organization as a whole.”
Show The Bigger Picture
Your team members need to know why they’re doing what they’re doing. They’ll never be fully engaged in their jobs if they don’t understand the big-picture vision, no matter how well you treat them.
Make sure your team knows what you’re working toward as an organization and how their work relates to those goals. Then reinforce it every chance you get (such as with email messages or at meetings) so that it stays fresh in everyone’s minds.
Khamis Maiouf from Book of Barbering advised, “Connecting employees with a sense of purpose doesn’t mean simply telling them why they work for you and how that makes the world a better place. The real key is to give them a clear understanding of how their work matters.
Employees need to see that their job isn’t just another cog in the wheel — it’s an opportunity to make an impact. When they understand the significance of what their job entails, they’re more likely to embrace it and find motivation from within to do a good job.”
“Tell employees about their work’s impact on the company and its customers. Your company might be working on developing a new product, reaching new customers, or improving existing products. Regardless of what you’re doing, chances are it’s part of a bigger picture. Let employees know how they fit into that picture and why it’s so important. This will inspire greater motivation from people who can see firsthand how their work matters to the greater good of your organization.” Maiouf describes.
Training And Development Opportunities
To help employees develop a sense of purpose, you need to give them learning opportunities.
“Encourage continuous learning.” explained Mohamed Hassaan from Style Recap, “One of the most effective ways to instill a sense of purpose in employees is to help them develop new skills and learn new things, as this enables them to see how the work they do is connected to their strengths and talents.”
This will give them a greater sense of purpose at work and make it easier for them to identify meaningful contributions they can make to the organization. At the same time, it will help companies create a culture that values learning on-the-job and off-the-job training programs such as online courses and workshops.
Adding to the point, Denis Leskovets from Office Consumer suggests, “The best way to connect employees with a sense of purpose is by setting career goals and offering them training and development. Setting clear career goals, and having employees work toward achieving them, will help you keep them motivated, engaged, and committed to your organization’s goals.”
“A good career-development plan will include short-term objectives that support business goals along with long-term goals that set an employee up for a promotion down the road. Setting employees up for success is imperative for retaining talent in your organization. And it’s also worth noting that you can keep your best employees engaged with a sense of purpose by ensuring clear opportunities for advancement within the company.” Adds Leskovets
Create A Culture of Inclusion
To help your team grow, you have to create an environment where your employees feel valued and have a sense of purpose. A big part of this is demonstrating how their jobs fit into the big picture. They will be more passionate about their work if they can connect it with a larger purpose.
Anders Rydholm, from PrimetimePokemon, says, “Involve your employees in planning company initiatives and goals. When they know that their ideas and opinions are valued by management, they will feel like their voice is being heard. This will motivate them to go above and beyond their job descriptions because they feel a sense of ownership over the company’s operations, and they’ll be more motivated to stay engaged.”
Empower Your Team
Another important aspect that instills motivation in your team is granting them autonomy on the job. Give them the freedom to accomplish tasks without getting stuck with micro-management. Show trust in your people by allowing them freedom of choice in reaching their goals or accomplishing their tasks.
Ann Young, from Fix The Photo, describes, “Empower your team. As a leader, it is important for you to allow your employees to make decisions that are a part of their job responsibilities, so long as it does not negatively affect the outcome of the organization’s goals and objectives. This way, you are creating an environment where employees feel valued for their contributions and are more likely to feel invested in the company’s success as well as in their own personal success within the organization.”
Tips To Give A Sense Of Purpose:
- Here are six ways to give your employees a sense of purpose and help them reach their potential.
- Give them opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others.
- Help them think about how they can have a positive impact on the environment.
- Encourage them to be leaders in their communities and within your company.
- Provide opportunities for your employees to contribute to society and make a real difference.
- Create mentorship programs that help people learn from one another.
- Offer flexible work arrangements that let employees balance work with family or community obligations.
Even if it’s not listed as a company benefit, a sense of fulfillment and deeper dedication to the company are definitely among the outcomes of leveraging purpose. As a business owner, you might want to consider making an extra effort to help your staff find meaning in their work because giving employees a sense of purpose at work could make them better employees—and that should be good for business.
In the end, you want to provide your employees with something bigger than just a paycheck. True, every employee wants to be compensated for their work and feel appreciated, but providing them with a sense of purpose will make them happier, more dedicated, and more likely to go above and beyond in their day-to-day roles.