Employee Motivation: Creating Purpose | Incentive & Motivation

Employee Motivation: Creating Purpose | Incentive & Motivation

In a recent study conducted by TimesJobs,  35% of employees say they don't feel they have clear job responsibilities. At the same time, around 70%

In a recent study conducted by TimesJobs,  35% of employees say they don’t feel they have clear job responsibilities.

At the same time, around 70% of employees surveyed said they felt less productivity in their current job, with 40% placing the blame on unclear employer expectations.

Time and time again, purpose comes up as a reason for engagement or disengagement. To over look it is futile. The IMD showed that when looking at 20 leading global companies that a strong and well communicated corporate purpose influenced financial performance by up to 17%.

Similarly, the EY Beacon institute found that companies that prioritised purpose performed much better than those that did not  – bearing in mind the difference between a purpose statement (why the business exists) and a long term statement of vision – what you want to achieve.

People With Purpose by Kevin Murray takes a look at many of these themes. It’s well worth a read, but here are some key takeaways.

  1. Understanding purpose is critical at work. 

If you had a clothes store – you would want all your employees in the latest fashion, talking about the great fit and range. If you ran a bar, you’d want them raving about the latest cocktail. In businesses that don’t have these easy leaps to the consumer, it can be easy to forget about purpose.

   2.  You can say “You should only work here if you feel proud”

Using the example or Merlin Entertainments, the world’s 2nd largest visitor attraction operator, the Chief Executive talks about how an acquisition on the route from 200 – 27,000 employees came with a merge of values that “Didn’t quite fit the culture”. They changed them. It can be done, regardless of your company size.

In fact, a really great quote from Merlin’s Nick Varney is highlighted:

“I always tell people to be true to themselves and only to work here if they feel really proud about the business.” 

How close is your business to being able to live by such a strong rule? It certainly is food for thought.

3. You need to put your leaders on the front line

It seems like common sense but in global or bottom heavy businesses, it can be hard to get your leaders onto the ground. Tfl for example, gives all leaders a 2-week front line experience where they work on the Tube, the bvus, the decks of the river boats – saying it’s “A big improvement for customers and drives a different culture….It’s only by doing this standing shoulder to shoulder with our staff that we can truly understand their experience.”

4. 82% of employees say they don’t get appropriate feedback 

The stat, taken fro the One Minute Manager showed that of 1400 employees, many felt that they didn’t get feedback they needed, or weren’t listened to (81%).  In a follow up with 700 people, 70% wished they could have a discussion about future goals with their boss, yet only 28% ever did.

If purpose isn’t on your scorecard, maybe it’s time it was. There are plenty more strands to pull to create a purposeful organisation. If you would like to see a checklist, recommended reading or more stats, please let us know in the comments.

~What great tips do you have for inspiring purpose?