Improve employee engagement: helping employees find purpose in the workplace

Aug 2, 2023

A recent Gartner study reveals employees are now searching for personal value and purpose in their work. The pursuit of financial rewards is shifting to seeking workplace contributions and personal fulfillment.

A recent study by Gartner reveals that a growing number of employees are now searching for personal value and purpose in their work. The traditional mindset of working in pursuit of financial rewards and professional growth is gradually giving way to a more profound desire to make meaningful workplace contributions and gain a sense of personal fulfillment. To remain competitive, business leaders must recognize this shift and adapt their strategies to create company culture that fosters personal value and purpose for their workforce. This blog explores why this change is happening, explains the significance of personal value in the employee journey, and provides actionable insights on how employers should respond so that every employee has a positive employee experience.

Championing Personal Fulfillment Enhances Employee Engagement

Gone are the days when employees clock in and out of work just to collect a paycheck. Today’s workforce craves a deeper connection to their work. They want to feel that their contributions matter and that the values of their employer align with their own personal values. When employees are fulfilled in their roles, it benefits both the employer and the  employee through:

  1. Increased motivation and engagement: Feeling valued at work ignites a sense of purpose, leading to high engagement levels and greater motivation. Employees are more likely to go the extra mile and demonstrate discretionary effort when they believe their work has a meaningful impact.
  2. Retention and loyalty: Employees are more likely to remain committed to their organization when they find personal value and purpose in their work. They become loyal advocates for the company, increasing employee retention rates and contributing to positive business outcomes.
  3. Well-being and satisfaction: Personal value and purpose contribute to employees’ well-being and job satisfaction. When individuals align their values with their work, they experience a sense of fulfillment, leading to improved mental health and higher job satisfaction levels.
Understanding the Significance of Providing Purpose in the Workplace

Multiple factors have contributed to the increasing emphasis on personal value and purpose in the workplace. Some key drivers include:

  • Changing workforce demographics: Millennials and Gen Z, who now form a significant portion of the workforce, prioritize personal growth, social impact, and work-life balance. These generations seek careers that align with their values and offer opportunities to make a difference.
  • Rise of purpose-driven organizations: As purpose-driven organizations gain prominence, employees are inspired by companies that actively strive to impact society positively. They are drawn to organizations with a clear mission and a commitment to social responsibility.
  • Technological advancements: Advancements in technology have automated routine tasks, freeing employees to focus on more meaningful and strategic work. This shift has created space for individuals to explore personal value and purpose beyond mundane tasks.
Taking Action to Enhance the Employee Experience

To meet employees’ evolving needs and aspirations, employers can be more proactive by creating an environment that nurtures personal value and purpose. Consider the following strategies:

  • Define and communicate organizational purpose: Clearly articulate your company’s mission, vision, and values to align with the broader aspirations of employees – it may even be time to consider updating these elements of your brand, if they are not resonating with today’s workforce. Communicate how each individual’s role contributes to the organization’s purpose and the positive impact they can make.
  • Encourage personal development: Provide opportunities for employees to grow personally and professionally. Employees who have opportunities to learn are 5x more likely to believe their company will help them meet their career goals. Offer training programs, mentorship initiatives, and career development plans that align with their individual goals and aspirations.
  • Foster a supportive and inclusive culture: Create a workplace culture that enhances the employee experience by fostering collaboration, respect, and inclusivity. Empower employees to voice their ideas, opinions, and concerns and ensure their perspectives are valued and considered.
  • Recognize and celebrate contributions: Regularly acknowledge and appreciate employees’ efforts and accomplishments. Recognize their contributions to the organization’s goals and communicate the impact their work has on the company’s overall success.
  • Facilitate purposeful work opportunities: Seek ways to connect employees’ roles to a broader sense of purpose and societal impact. Enable them to participate in volunteer programs, sustainability initiatives, or community outreach projects that align with their values.
  • Build communities at work: A workplace community provides a support network for employees. They can seek guidance, advice, and task support from their colleagues and service providers, which can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

As employees increasingly seek personal value and purpose, organizations can adapt their employee engagement strategy to meet these evolving needs. Employers can unlock higher levels of employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention by fostering an environment that values personal growth, purposeful work, and a supportive culture. Embracing this shift will benefit individual employees and contribute to the organization’s long-term success.


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