As you step into the new year alongside your team, the potential for personal and professional development comes into focus.
This article addresses the challenge of instilling purpose in employees and offers a set of powerful New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions are designed to empower leaders to proactively pursue substantial and lasting transformation within their organizations, ultimately driving positive change.
The Need for a Well-Defined Purpose in the Workplace
The COVID-19 pandemic has given people the time and space to rethink their lives and choices. A McKinsey study revealed that nearly two-thirds of US employees used the pandemic as an opportunity to contemplate their life’s purpose.
This reflection led to a striking statistic: almost half of these employees are reevaluating the nature of their work, with Millennials taking the lead in this introspection.
Ensuring that your company’s purpose positively enriches your employees’ work and lives is important, especially in the current landscape. Research shows that individuals who find alignment between their purpose and their work are more productive and exhibit greater resilience and well-being, making them more likely to remain committed to your company.
Moreover, when your organization’s purpose aligns with your employees, they become more engaged, loyal, and more willing to recommend your company to others. In fact, 70 percent of workers said their jobs determine their sense of purpose.¹
Although employees give great importance to purpose, McKinsey also found that only 42 percent believe their company’s goal had any effect. This disconnect stems from purpose statements often being overly generic and failing to address employees’ specific concerns and aspirations.
Here are the top two concerns of employees and the percentage of purpose statements that meet them:
- Contributing to society, 21 percent
- Doing meaningful work, 11 percent²
Related Reading: The Employee Experience Advantage: Driving Engagement and Retention
New Year’s Resolutions that Cultivate Transformation
Your organization’s New Year’s resolutions can help drive your purpose. Here are some practices and activities you can do to encourage your employees to create and pursue change.
1. Make your purpose personal.
According to Gallup, if you want to make your purpose more personal to employees, you must have regular conversations about their unique contributions. Employees often derive their purpose from what they do best in making a difference related to what they care about the most.
With this in mind, identify what they care about the most and how it relates to your organization’s purpose. The next thing is to know what they do best and how they can make a difference through these skills.³
Understanding these can create an emotional connection between you and your employees. Encourage probing questions to understand their aspirations and frustrations, with the ultimate goal of helping them realize their role within the company and how it contributes to their desired transformations.
2. Integrate sustainability into your purpose.
Start by aligning your organizational purpose with sustainability goals. Emphasize how your company’s mission contributes to environmental and social well-being. For example, if you aim to provide exceptional customer service, explain how this positively impacts your community by creating local jobs and fostering economic growth.
3. Check employee well-being.
Gallup found that 76 percent or three out of four employees experience burnout at least sometimes, and the signs and symptoms are often unsolved or unnoticed.⁴
Establish a routine for monitoring employee well-being to ensure job satisfaction and reduce distress or burnout. Collaborate with your human resources (HR) team, psychiatrists, or well-being coaches to provide guidance. This way, your employees can get advice from the right experts on managing their workloads and stress and help them achieve a healthier pace in thriving within your company.
You can conduct these checks or measures quarterly or yearly, depending on your budget and employees’ needs. What’s essential is maintaining employees’ wellness or improving their situation.
4. Be a role model for well-being.
Being a role model for employee well-being begins with taking care of yourself. Recognize when it’s essential to stop working to prevent burnout. You encourage your team to do the same by demonstrating your ability to prioritize well-being.
Start by taking your breaks at the scheduled times. Even leaders can sometimes neglect this due to client demands and meetings. Encourage your employees to follow suit by inviting them to join you during breaks.
Additionally, leave work on time to support the idea of avoiding excessive overtime. By demonstrating that tasks can be completed within regular working hours, you set an example for your team. Regularly remind your employees to prioritize self-care. This ensures they can perform at their best while maintaining their well-being.
5. Provide personalized incentives or benefits.
Identifying the right incentives and benefits for your employees becomes easier once you understand their priorities. If you’re uncertain, collaborate with your HR team to craft a benefits survey.
In the survey, list various benefits and include a section where employees can suggest additional ones. Some benefits to consider are:
- Increased Paid Time Off (PTO)
- Pet Insurance
- Development and Training Budget
- Leisure Budget
- Volunteer Days Off
- Student Loan Assistance
- Flexible Work Schedule
Analyze the most frequently chosen options and the suggestions from your employees. Allocate a budget accordingly to ensure they can fully enjoy the benefits and incentives you offer.
6. Cultivate growth through training and mentorship.
Demonstrate your commitment to your employees’ future within the company through structured training and mentorship initiatives. Collaborate with your managers and team leaders to establish a meaningful mentorship program. Allow employees to choose their preferred mentor to ensure a comfortable learning environment.
Consider allocating a budget for training courses that empower your employees to enroll in online classes covering topics and skills they’re eager to explore. These courses can enhance their existing skill set or delve into areas of personal interest, even beyond their current expertise. This opens up numerous avenues for growth within your organization.
Set aside at least one to two hours daily for mentorship or training activities. This commitment illustrates your dedication to their development and encourages active participation.
7. Encourage an environment of openness and support.
As you usher in the new year, consider a fresh approach; consider assigning occasional group or pair tasks.
This approach enables team members to tap into each other’s expertise and establish trust. It catalyzes strengthening relationships within your teams through collaborative efforts.
Moreover, this collaborative environment encourages individuals to be more comfortable seeking assistance. These activities enhance self-awareness regarding their weaknesses and inspire them to learn from each other’s strengths.
8. Engage in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Incorporate CSR into your purpose-driven strategy. Showcase your commitment to ethical business practices, philanthropy, and community involvement. Explain how CSR aligns with your organization’s purpose, emphasizing its positive impact on your employees and the wider community.
Pursue the New Year with intent.
Pursue the new year with the willingness to take action. Help your employees make the changes they are hoping for by supporting them in a healthy work environment that understands their purpose.
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If you’re seeking individuals who align with your company’s values and are passionate about driving meaningful progress, Raso360 is your ideal partner. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services in Staff Leasing, Staff Augmentation, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), and more.
1 “Help Your Employees Find Purpose—Or Watch Them Leave.” McKinsey & Company, 5 Apr. 2021, www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/help-your-employees-find-purpose-or-watch-them-leave.
2 “Purpose: Shifting from Why to How.” McKinsey & Company, 22 Apr. 2020, www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/purpose-shifting-from-why-to-how.
3 Herway, Jake. “To Get Your People’s Best Performance, Start With Purpose.” Gallup, 21 May 2021, www.gallup.com/workplace/350060/people-best-performance-start-purpose.aspx.
4 Hemphill, E.Beth. “Uncomfortable (but Necessary) Conversations About Burnout.” Gallup, 6 Dec. 2022, www.gallup.com/workplace/406232/uncomfortable-necessary-conversations-burnout.aspx.