It has always been important for me to be a part of an organisation that I could be proud of and I have been able to find this pride in a large variety of businesses – from healthy burger franchises, mining companies, a communications agency to a manufacturing plant. All of these businesses were clear on their why, the people worked hard to achieve the vision and they were making a difference in their own way. I have also worked for two businesses that I just couldn’t get behind – one of these a small boutique that was not yet clear on their purpose to connect with.
In the businesses that weren’t clear on their mission and the guiding values for their employees I quickly became disengaged and found I wasn’t approaching situations with the same energy, initiative and care that I would in other situations. From one of these roles I was politely told I was no longer required, by text message, the other I was lucky enough to find another opportunity which better aligned to my skillset and experience and resigned.
There has been plenty of research done into the Millennial workforce and the necessity of finding purpose in the work they (we) do. I don’t think this is a concept that is specific to Millennials but it is something that is being highlighted more and more as an expectation of most employees in recent times. With the notion of work/life balance becoming less of a balance and more of a combined, all-encompassing lifestyle, it is increasingly important for individuals and business owners to find fulfilment in their work beyond a pay cheque. If business owners are able to connect their employees with the deeper purpose of what they are employed to do, it can only help to engage, motivate and empower them to do amazing work.
The bank that I worked for was focused on nothing more than making money, and while I hear a collective groan that this is what all banks do, I would challenge you to think of a bank in Australia that doesn’t also provide its employees, and customers for that matter, with a deeper purpose – whether that be to create opportunities, support small businesses, make dreams come true etc. Whilst making money is also a huge driving force for these businesses, they are also creating a purpose that means something to people and is something employees can feel positive about being a part of.
We all want to feel as though we are making a difference, whether that be through being a smaller cog in the vehicle of a big corporation, or more directly through business ownership and entrepreneurship, so it is increasingly important for business owners and executives to connect with the why and continuously share and reinforce this amongst their teams; allowing their people to find their own way to connect. It’s probably of my favourite thing that I get to do at wattsnext – reconnect businesses with their purpose and embedding it through everything they do.