Nothing engages employees more than finding purpose in the work that they do. Keeping employees happy with high salaries and company perks is great to have, but it is not enough. Business executives must figure out how to intrinsically motivate employees, understand what energizes them, and help them to find meaning in the work that they do – all while making sure the goal of the company is being achieved.
Since the occurrence of the COVID-19 global pandemic, many business executives of various industries have begun to reconsider their company’s human resource priorities. A recent US-based survey found that nearly two-thirds of employees said that the pandemic had caused them to reflect on their personal and professional purpose in life. Half of the people surveyed are reconsidering the work that they do with millennials being three times more likely to re-evaluate their work within the organization.
So, why are these findings important for business executives to address? According to research, when business executives hire employees whose purpose aligns with the goals of the company, they are six and a half times more likely to report higher resilience during challenging times. Other benefits of hiring the right people include reports of better overall health, lower employee turnover, and a stronger likelihood of going above and beyond when it comes to contributing to the company’s goals. When business executives give meaning to the work of employees, they create resilient and sustainable workforces that make significant contributions to the overall success of the firm.
This article will go over two key business executive development tips for executives to consider when running an organization. When followed correctly, business executives create a transformative workforce engaged and motivated in contributing to the goals of the company.
Tip #1: Make sure your organization’s overarching goals have purpose and meaning behind it
In addition to communicating and articulating defined company goals, business executives must communicate the purpose behind them. Goals have more substance and meaning when there is a “why” attached to them. Company goals must also be compelling and extend beyond simply making a profit. When company goals are expressed on how it improves society, it makes the role of the employee that much more meaningful.
Business executives with meaningful goals and visions can engage employees no matter how challenging the task might be. A great example is John F. Kennedy’s vision of inspiring the United States nation to put a man on the moon. In one of his most famous speeches, Kennedy said: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” And within that decade, the United States became the first country to send a man to the moon.
Purposeful goals allow employees to think beyond the role of their job. Goals with meaning help employees see how their roles, no matter how big or small, significantly contribute to the greater whole of the organization. There is another famous story about a janitor at NASA working around the time Kennedy was president. One day, Kennedy asked the janitor what his job was. The janitor simply responded, “I’m helping to put a man on the moon”. This story demonstrates how a powerful and compelling vision can give any job meaning if implemented with the right mindset and good leadership. Intrinsic motivation occurs when goals are clearly defined and have meaning behind them.
Tip #2: Hire for values and cultural fit
In order for business executives to create a purpose-driven workforce, they must consciously implement strategies to ensure that the people being hired fit the workplace culturally. Studies show that employees will find the organization’s goal meaningful when it aligns with their values and beliefs. Therefore, business executives should not simply fill a role based on skills. Rather, business executives must also emphasize making sure that the person being hired is a good fit for the team.
When employees are a great cultural fit for the company, it becomes easier for business executives to engage and connect with them. Employees with a strong value and belief alignment with the company better understand how their roles can contribute to the company’s overall vision. Roles within the organization become more than a job that one shows up for every day. Instead, it becomes a place for employees to express their own personal calling and a way for them to fulfill their own personal purpose.
Business executives that make deliberate decisions to hire employees based on cultural fit foster healthy workplaces. When a group of diverse people gather that are united by similarly aligned values, it becomes easier to communicate and trust one another to do their assigned roles and responsibility. It also becomes easier for employees to show up expressing their true authentic selves. When business executives hire based on cultural fit, employee retention rates are higher, working becomes more enjoyable, and employees become inspired by the quality of the people they constantly become exposed to at work. When business executives hire based on cultural fit, the workforce becomes a place of meaning for people to gather and work towards a goal.
Bringing it all together
Today’s modern employees demand more than a good salary or good perks when working for a company – these employees want their jobs to have meaning. Part of good business executive development is creating a workforce within the company that is driven by purpose. Business executives can do this by making sure the company’s overarching goals are not only clearly defined but also have purpose and meaning behind them. Also, business executives must make conscious decisions to hire people based on how well they fit the culture of the company. Truly, for business executives to achieve company goals, they must cultivate a workforce of employees with personal values that align with the organization.