The success of an organization depends on the wellbeing of its employees in the same way the vitality of an organism depends on the health of its individual cells. The ability of both to thrive is determined largely by the environmental conditions in which they function.
Establishing your company culture as one that’s invested in the individual purpose of its employees is how you create an optimal environment to foster employee fulfillment. Everyone is responsible for the company culture, but leadership sets the tone.
Business owners and managers that devote time and energy to defining and embodying their own individual purpose signal to their employees that it's not only okay, but encouraged, for them to do the same.
Working in an environment that encourages people to discover the things that give their lives the most meaning will make people feel secure and seen. Fulfilled employees know they work for a company that values them as a whole human rather than an expendable person completing tasks and meeting deadlines.
The post-pandemic economy and its workforce have made it clear that employee fulfillment must be a top priority.
People have been under extraordinary amounts of stress since March of 2020 and have taken the time to reevaluate where work fits into their lives. We are currently experiencing what many have called The Great Resignation, in which we have seen 19 million workers quit their jobs since April 2021.
The message is loud and clear – people are no longer willing to simply exchange time for money. They’re seeking purpose and fulfillment and want their work to support that.
You can no longer attract or retain talent with adequate pay, a robust benefits package, and job perks alone. It’s important that all aspects of employees’ lives are nurturing their individual purpose, particularly the work they do and the company they do it for.
So how do you go about fostering a sense of fulfillment in the workplace? And what will it mean for you if you succeed?
Employers used to use external motivators like achievement recognition, bonuses, and promotions. These are all necessary, but they’re no longer enough on their own. Employers need to look at their employees as the multi-faceted, whole humans that they are. They need to understand what their employees are intrinsically motivated by and what inspires them to align their work with their greater purpose.
Management can engage their employees in conversations about purpose and fulfillment to show them they care about their overall wellbeing and want to ensure that their work in some way facilitates it. Building a staff of engaged, fulfilled employees requires an environment where workers feel free to participate in these kinds of discussions that focus on the human aspects of life and career.
A proactive management approach is to ensure that both the individual purpose of their employees and that of the organization are connected. Tasks like hiring, management of current employees, and matching employees to positions that will support their fulfillment should all keep this goal in mind.
A full-time employee spends more than one-third of their waking hours on the job (or more). Based on that percentage, it’s understandable that feeling a sense of fulfillment from the work they do has a significant impact on their overall quality of life.
Younger generations have different expectations for their careers than generations past. Work that is meaningful, makes a positive impact, and facilitates personal growth have replaced high incomes and good benefits as the benchmark of a successful career. Millennials in particular tend to see their work as their life calling.
Feeling a sense of purpose acts as an anchor in times of uncertainty. Strengthening your employees’ identification with their own purpose and that of the organization can provide them a North Star when other parts of their lives feel challenging. The sense that they are a part of something bigger than themselves can help build their resilience while they weather the storm.
People with a clear sense of purpose are able to recover from setbacks more quickly. Research shows that people who say they are aligned with their purpose and fulfilled at work report an increased sense of overall wellbeing and higher levels of engagement on the job specifically.
Additionally, human beings are social creatures. We crave connection and a sense of belonging within a community of people who share our values. A business owner or manager is in a unique position to provide exactly that. Fulfilled employees who feel aligned with the purpose of the organization will contribute positivity and enthusiasm to the community, further enhancing their identification with – and satisfaction from – being a member of it.
Purpose is something that continues to grow and shift over time. People who believe they have the space to evolve both personally and professionally will be more apt to keep learning, developing new skills, and strengthening existing ones. A team that seeks to constantly improve can only serve to better the organization.
Having a job congruent with their individual purpose makes for more productive employees and in turn a more profitable company. According to a recent McKinsey study, nearly 7 out of 10 employees are reflecting on their purpose as a result of the pandemic. Of those polled, the people who say they live their purpose at work report they are:
Fulfilled employees feel energized by the work they are doing and are more invested in the process and the outcome. Creative problem solving, concentrated focus, open communication, and cooperation with other team members are all byproducts of an engaged and inspired employee.
People who enjoy their work are likely to express that outside of the workplace and in the social media age; this cannot be undervalued. Companies develop a reputation based in part on the way that their employees share their experiences. Attracting new talent will be easier when prospects know that yours is an organization that values their people and wants them to thrive.
Employee retention is a significant challenge in today’s climate. Skilled workers have a lot of options and aren’t afraid to explore them. A 2021 research study conducted by Gallup states that only 34% of American workers polled report feeling actively engaged at work, which is one reason why so many people are considering leaving their current employer.
It’s costly and disruptive to be handling constant turnover, so putting an emphasis on employee fulfillment is more important than ever. Employees who are properly compensated and feel aligned with their employer's values are more likely to stay on board.
Making your employees' wellbeing a priority is more important now than ever before. It used to be enough to provide an amazing customer experience, but the post-pandemic economy requires more from businesses. Customers are asking companies to ensure their employees have the same quality of experience working for them that customers do from using their products and services.
At Go Beyond, we’ve developed software and coaching programs to help forward-thinking employers support their employees in defining their purpose and finding fulfillment. To see if we can help you and your team, give us a call at 678-680-3985, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here to schedule a conversation today.