In difficult times, it’s understandable to become obsessed on hard nosed business priorities at the expense of more intangible considerations. However, getting your people to contemplate their “purpose in life” is crucial.
An individual’s purpose can be thought of as an overarching sense of what matters in their lives. While what people find meaningful tends to evolve over time, it can shift relatively quickly, particularly in response to life changing events.
Importantly, people with a strong sense of purpose tend to be more resilient and recover better from crises. Indeed, research has shown that through the current pandemic people who were “living their purpose” at work reported levels of wellbeing five times higher than those who weren’t.
Individual purpose also benefits businesses. People whose individual purpose aligns with their jobs tend to be more productive and likely to outperform their peers. Research has repeatedly shown a positive correlation between the purposefulness of employees and their company’s EBITDA margin.
Helping individuals live their purpose
Start by simply discussing these matters with your team. This can help individuals better identify and articulate their purpose, and live it more fully at work. One effective approach is through regular, structured conversations. Think of this as a check-in to understand how employees are doing and how you can support them living their purpose by tailoring projects, support, communication, and development to suit different needs, values, and situations.
"...people who were “living their purpose” at work reported levels of wellbeing five times higher than those who weren’t"