How Do You Help Your Employees Find Purpose at Work?

by Sonya Shelton

Over the past couple of years, people have been reflecting more on their purpose in life. Since most of us spend most of our waking hours during the week at work, it’s only natural that people are also reflecting more on their purpose at work.  

For example, here are a few results of a recent study by McKinsey & Company: 

  • Nearly two-thirds of US-based employees said COVID-19 caused them to reflect on their purpose 
  • 89% of employees at all levels said they want purpose in their lives 
  • Nearly half of employees said they are reconsidering the kind of work they do 
  • Millennials were three times more likely to say they were reevaluating work 
  • 70% of all employees said their sense of purpose is defined by their work 

Clearly, individual purpose is important. But how does this impact you as a leader? 

Most leaders haven’t given much thought to their own purpose much less to the purpose of the people on their team. Maybe you think it’s too personal or uncomfortable to talk about. 

But based on the McKinsey research, you can leverage purpose to help your organization become a better place to work and ultimately align into a purpose-driven organization. 

What are the benefits of having purpose at work? 

What does it mean to have a personal purpose? It starts at the core with what matters most – your WHY. 

When you know your purpose, you have a clearer direction, you understand what you bring to your role and the organization, and you can make faster and better decisions. 

People who live their purpose at work are: 

  • more productive 
  • healthier 
  • more resilient 
  • more fulfilled 

And because they’re living their purpose at work, they have more loyalty to their organization. This is important when employee retention and finding new talent is becoming more challenging. 

Ultimately, when individuals in your organization have purpose at work, it can be a huge competitive advantage. 

How do you find your purpose at work? 

In the McKinsey study, 85% of people said they feel they have a purpose, but only 65% of them can articulate it. 

So, the first question we need to answer is: Do you know your own purpose? 

You can help your team with their purpose if you don’t know yours. But once you’ve discovered your purpose, you can help them find theirs too. 

Discovering your purpose has three key components: 

  1. Your WHY. Why do you do everything you do? This is the core of your personal brand. 
  1. Your HOW. Once you know WHY you do what you do, we look at HOW you bring your WHY to life. This is HOW you internally process information. 
  1. Your WHAT. Your WHAT is what people can ultimately count on from you. It’s WHAT you bring to the table and WHAT you bring to the world. 

When you have your personal purpose, you can understand yourself more clearly, focus on what you’re passionate about, communicate better, and inspire others to action. 

Then, you can help your employees discover their purpose too and ultimately become a great place to work with enormous competitive advantage. 

If you’d like to discover your personal purpose and help your team discover theirs, we can help. We start by discovering your WHY.os – your Personal Operating System of WHY, HOW, and WHAT. Simply contact us to learn more. 

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