To maximize your potential, increase your performance, and optimize your engagement, you need to feel a sense of connection and purpose with the organization you are working for. I think about this concept in several ways, it’s about understanding:
your organization’s mission, vision, values,
why your organization operates aka its purpose (should be more than just to make money/profit) and its brand,
the way your organization views and serves in its communities,
the strategic goals and how your individual goals fit into them,
the why / the rationale behind decisions made,
the big picture of your job – what’s the end-to-end process: where does it start, how does it flow to you, what do you do, then where does it go, what’s the impact,
how what you do impacts the organization,
how you can get more of the things that make you happy, into your everyday at work.
When you are grounded in all the above, you feel connected in your work on several levels.
Gallup, a leading employee engagement analytics and advice firm, knows that purpose significantly impacts an employee and includes a question related to this concept on their Employee Engagement Questionnaire:
“Q08. The mission or purpose of my organization makes me feel my job is important.” 1
Further, in the Gallup article, “To Get Your People's Best Performance, Start With Purpose,” by Jake Herway, he notes that sometimes leaders have difficulty knowing how to address: “finding an employee's personal connection to the work. Ownership emerges when work is personal -- when an employee can claim, "It's mine." And only when an employee's work directly fulfills their personal purpose will they claim it to be theirs. That starts with an organization's goal to work toward achieving good for customers, stakeholders, and communities.
Organizational purpose becomes personal when the employee recognizes that their unique contribution furthers that goal.”2
In the Forbes article, “How To Help Employees Connect To Their Work And Your Company,” by Allyson Tom, the VP of People & Culture at Blueboard, a study showed, “that despite 85% of HR leaders agreeing that employees should feel connected at work, only a fraction (31%) of organizations have actively addressed connection challenges.” 3 This article offers some advice on what leaders can do to help their employees feel the purpose in their work and see their impact – I highly encourage you to read the full article for the details:
“Get to the root of any disconnection,
Connect daily tasks to company goals,
Make the work personal,
Recognize and reward good work,
Invest in your employees' growth and development.” 3
I’ll add on to the list above – I strongly encourage organizations / leaders to communicate your mission, vision, values and live and breathe by them. They should be more than just talk and words and posters on walls. Everything you do, every decision you make, should align with your mission, vision, and values. Leading by example is powerful to all employees – we’ve all heard the saying, talk the talk, AND walk the walk. AND if someone who is viewed as not living the mission, vision, and values, please have the courage to let them go; they affect your culture more than you may realize.
As an employee, I encourage you to make sure you know all the items I listed at the beginning of the article. Here are a few highlights:
Make sure you understand how the activities you perform connect to your organization’s purpose and strategic goals,
Know the why behind things,
Raise your hand and talk with your manager if you are doing something you don't feel is connected. This will help you understand why you are doing them, or it may be time to remove that activity from your responsibilities to realign everything.
Need someone to help you dig into this work with you? Reach out for coaching or consulting.
Connection and purpose are important while building or rebuilding organization culture. To assess where you and your organization are in your employee engagement culture journey, download my “Culture Pulse: Employee Engagement Questionnaire” here.
I look forward to providing monthly pulse points to help you stay up to date with how the workplace culture scene is evolving.
About Jaclyn T. Badeau, CPA, CGMA, MBA, EQ Certified
Jaclyn Badeau is the Founder and President of Badeau Consulting. She specializes in employee engagement initiatives that help companies inspire confidence back into their team for innovation and growth. Jaclyn’s background in cultivating high performing teams, delivering coaching and mentoring, serving as a global business risk advisor, and facilitating internal and external leadership training to a global workforce gives her the unique perspective of what employees need and what works. She is also a multi award recipient and passionate about sharing her expertise and knowledge in volunteer advisory and leadership positions roles for many associations and not-for-profits.
About Pulse Point
Pulse Point is a monthly blog to stay up to date with how the workplace culture scene is evolving.
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