employee engagement and purpose

In an age where you can’t read a single blog post without hearing about the value of employee engagement, the question has changed from one of “why” to one of “how.” There are several things that you can start doing right off the bat: institute a transparent an employee ideation platform, encourage cross-discipline collaboration, and create impactful change based off of employee suggestions.

However, all of these tactics ask organizations to consider an even deeper commitment… an answer to the question: what is your purpose?

What does purpose mean in a workplace? Purpose should look beyond the day-to-day goals of the business and instead focus on what a company wants to be, where they are going, and most importantly why they are going there.

Once a company understands its purpose, it becomes a powerful tool in engaging employees. According to Deloitte, 73% of employees who say they work for a purpose-driven company are engaged. Unfortunately, only about 28% of the US workforce feels purpose-oriented on the job.

Here are some first steps in achieving a purpose-driven organization:

Get Leadership Engaged: Ask your leadership why they do the work that they do and get them involved in the conversation. According to a Gallup poll, only 36% of management reported being engaged at work. That’s staggering. What if company leadership could inspire your employees? What would they ask them to do?

Think Entrepreneurs, Not Employees. Researchers have found that most employees think like entrepreneurs and think of themselves as “business owners” of their working lives. If anyone has the power to improve their portion of the whole, it’s important that they know the larger purpose that they’re contributing to, so that they can work in the same direction as their co-workers.

Give a Little Heart. When it comes to getting people engaged in problem solving, it’s important to give them a personal reason, something that pulls at their heart strings and has personal significance. Purpose should have a heart to really catalyze a workforce and get them thinking of old problems in a new way.

Learn more about the Purpose-Driven Workforce in this complimentary white paper, which discusses tactics and case studies about workplace purpose.