Will Your Organization Reap the Rewards of Being Purpose Driven?

Many companies boast altruistic mission statements and entice job seekers with highlighting purpose driven cultures. As well meaning as these statements may be, even employees in highly mission-driven organizations, like non-profit organizations or healthcare systems, have trouble feeling a sense of purpose in their work.

For those who seek to make a positive impact on the world, this disconnect can increase pessimism, increase disengagement at work, and even inspire a company or career shift in search of something that brings a higher sense of fulfillment.

Creating a purpose driven organization is not an easy task, but it can have a profound impact on business results. Organizations driven by a purpose outperform others by a factor of 12.

In our current economy, the power is in the hands of the talent. Employees can more easily turn around and leave for another organization that offers them more meaning. Those who feel a sense of meaning report twice the level of satisfaction compared to those who don’t. This is nice for employees, and almost more importantly, for shareholders. Employees who are more satisfied with their jobs are three times as likely to stay with their organizations.

Establishing and communicating a purpose may be what your organization needs to retain talent now, and in urgent circumstances, survive into the future. Offering a sense of purpose isn’t just about making people happier about going to work, though, it directly hits an organization’s bottom line.

The Rewards

  1. Higher retention
  2. Higher satisfaction
  3. Higher organizational performance
  4. Higher organizational commitment

How Can You Reap These Rewards?

Many leaders think they have a clear purpose and that their employees feel dedicated to it. For fast growing, younger organizations, it can come as a shock to leaders that the dedication, passion, and drive it took build the organization are not translating to new hires who don’t understand or feel the original intention the organization’s leaders felt. For more established organizations that have deep and complicated histories, it might be a surprise to think that employees would expect anything more than a paycheck.

Regardless of where on the purpose driven expectation spectrum your organization is, here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine if you will reap the benefits of employees finding purpose in their work.

Does my organization have statements or general sayings that speak to our purpose?

You don’t have to have a formal mission statement to have a purpose. But, it is necessary for organizations to communicate their purpose in some form or another that can be shared with employees, applicants, shareholders, and other stakeholders.

Do we talk about our purpose regularly (i.e. in all-company meetings, when new products or processes are introduced, during times of organizational change, in office decor and collateral)?

Read how DTE embodied their purpose and referred back to it regularly with employees at all levels to make an impact on organizational commitment.

Is there the ability to tailor our company’s purpose to adapt to different teams or individuals?

At Waggl, we were founded with the purpose of making work more human. For some of us, we nerd out on our app and the value of technology in launching organizations into accessing Employee Voice. Some love the way our human approach actually impacts business performance for our customers. Others are motivated by feeling connected to one another when we participate in internal Waggl pulses. We are a diverse group of people and each of us has our own senses of meaning within our organization’s purpose, and draw inspiration from broad aspects of the business.

Do employees get frustrated when they are asked to do something outside of the scope of their job description or in difficult times for the organization?

Do people resent the need to get their hands dirty and do something they aren’t excited about? Do they band together and approach challenges as a team? When people feel a strong sense of purpose that is bigger than a narrow job description, they may be more likely to face difficult times with positive and collaborative attitudes. When they feel distant and like your organization owes them something, these asks for greater commitment might trigger feelings of anger, frustration, and resentment.

 

Depending on how you answered the above questions, you might consider taking a step back to determine how you can create and/or communicate a sense of purpose to your employees that they can embody.

Waggl helps organizations solicit feedback and insight from their employees, which encourages authentic dialogue around topics like organizational purpose and employee engagement. We empower leaders to take action on employee voice. If you want to initiate dialogue with employees in your organization, contact us to learn how we can help within your unique context.