All employers know that their staff expect paying for the work they perform, and the odd perk here or there often goes down well too, but recent research has suggested that employees are looking for more than this – they also need to have a sense of purpose within their working environment.
Having a sense of purpose has been shown to improve individuals’ mental health, motivate a team to engage on all levels, create a stable work environment leading to better staff retention, and it can also lead to improved business performance.
However, helping employees find a sense of purpose can be difficult; we’re all different, so finding something that gives all your employees a sense of purpose in their professional life may take time and effort but the rewards will definitely be worth the perseverance.
For some, purpose may be found through continuing professional development, for others, it may be from making a contribution to society, so take the time to work with your team of employees to ascertain how best you can help them achieve fulfilment within the workplace.
The following advice will help to focus your efforts in the right direction and offers ideas for assisting your employees to achieve a sense of purpose, well-being and credibility within their professional life.
Inspire, Lead and Nurture
It is the role of a good manager to inspire their staff to find purpose in their professional life through the credibility, influence and authority that they hold in their position.
Lead by example, offering encouragement and a nurturing environment, in which your team feel comfortable and confident enough in your leadership abilities to aim higher without fear of torment over failures or blunders.
Ensure your team know that you are genuine in your support of them, and that they are rewarded in a meaningful way for their efforts.
Encourage Learning and Professional Development
Many employees find purpose in their work if they can increase their knowledge through training and continued professional development.
Consider offering training courses which support individual employee’s career potentials such as, communication skills, management and leadership, or coaching and mentoring, as these will highlight your firm’s backing for employees and also give you a future provision for exceptional talent.
Encourage employees to stretch their ambitions, and help them to fulfil themselves intellectually, through training courses that are recognised by professional bodies and can be tailored to suit individual needs.
Inclusion and Appreciation
Most companies are now multicultural entities which employee people from many different cultures, backgrounds and circumstances.
If employees feel excluded or isolated from their team due to cultural differences this is likely to hinder the team’s progress, impede communication, and potentially, cause conflict.
To ensure this does not happen, it is vital that all employees feel like a valued member of the team and that their colleagues understand their varied work practices and perspectives.
Cultural awareness training is the best way of guaranteeing all your employees are working together and that they have respect and empathy for each other.
Another way to create a sense of inclusion is to find a greater cause to support.
Support a Greater Cause
We all feel great when we have been able to help someone through a selfless act of giving such as, raising money for a local charity, or offering our time free to help a children’s sports team.
Find a worthy cause that your firm would like to support (often a local charity is best as the results can actually be seen in the community by employees and their families) and encourage staff to get together to raise money and help out.
This often gives a sense of fulfilment as teamwork is needed to raise a considerable amount of money through things such as, fun runs, cake sales, dress-down days, and so on.
Encourage full engagement and give plenty of opportunities for all staff to participate so that they gain a sense of collective pride in their achievements and in the organisation for whom they work.
Consistent effort, purpose-led initiatives, and long-term goals will develop into a workplace community mind-set that works together for a greater cause and offers plenty of opportunities for creating a sense of purpose and fulfilment.