How to Help Your Team Feel Their Purpose at Work
Studies have confirmed what we already know: employees with a strong sense of purpose are likely to be not only happier but also more effective, more productive and more results-oriented. Purpose-driven professionals are extremely valuable talent. So why are the organizations that foster a sense of purpose so scarce?
There are lots of reasons. Shrinking budgets, bad leadership, inflated demands all contribute to the loss of purpose. In far too many workplaces, you’ll find individuals who are working harder and putting in longer hours but without much conviction. The resulting culture is one of demotivation and disengagement.
For everyone to be at their best, it’s important to encourage every individual on your team to stay connected to their sense of purpose. Here are some ways to make it happen:
Make it personal. Purpose can’t come from a directive; it has to be felt. It’s not enough to talk about it. You need to show it and live it every day to set the tone.
Connect to a greater cause. For people to feel a sense of pride in what they do, they need to know that they are making a difference in people’s lives. If you can connect the success of your organization to the benefit of society at large, to show how it serves a greater cause, people will find not only pride but also meaning in their day-to-day grind.
Offer frequent recognition. Give people frequent recognition for their work, showing how it contributes to the greater goals of the organization. When you do, people feel valued and connected, and they want to do more and be more.
Promote self-development. When you provide opportunities for ongoing training and development, both professionally and personally, you energize people and set them up for long-term success. Investing in your people is an effective way to keep them motivated, loyal and connected to a sense of purpose.
Spread the positivity. To deepen connections between your team and the people they’re serving in their work, encourage group or individual involvement in a volunteer project — ideally one related to the work you do. For example, if you work for a publisher, look for a program working with adult literacy or children’s reading. Encourage mentorship and shared expertise, too. As a bonus, the bonds between team members will be strengthened as well.
Keep purpose at the center. When you center your team and your own leadership on shared purpose, it becomes internalized and in time grows to become the focus of the workplace culture. For your team to know who they are and how they make a difference all starts by leading from within.
The purpose is a grand word, but in the end, it’s about serving and benefiting others. If you keep that in mind and lead from within, you’re certain to find success.
Lead from within: A purpose is a powerful tool for leaders who want to bring their best to work and inspire others to do the same.