Companies have been confounded by the recent phenomena of employees resigning at record rates. While there remains much debate over why this “Great Reshuffle” is happening, survey data indicates workforces around the world are feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, and unfulfilled at record-breaking levels. With the events of the past two years making many reflect on their personal purpose and reconsider their work, it has never been more important for companies to have an authentic and well-articulated organizational purpose to attract and retain talent. Yet many companies lack a clear purpose and strategy for communicating it internally and externally.
In this panel, thinkPARALLAX convened companies from across sectors leading on purpose. We explored strategies, tools, and tactics for engaging employees around purpose, tips for connecting employees’ personal purpose to corporate purpose, and insights for substantiating purpose through a robust ESG strategy.
The panelist lineup included:
- Kara DeVita, Sr. Director - Social Impact, Executive Director - Fossil Foundation, Fossil Group, Inc.
- Jocelyn Bridson, Director, Environment and Community Impact, Tillamook County Creamery Association
- Julie Clugage, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Team4Tech
Here are some of the key takeaways from the panel:
- Lead by example. For leaders, when we give ourselves permission to show up authentically, we encourage others to bring their whole selves to work — which is key to activating purpose.
- Build and nurture relationships. Taking time to recognize the talents and strengths of the people on your team creates an environment where everyone is seen, heard, valued, and in turn, engaged.
- Provide employees with opportunities for impact. The pandemic has caused many of us to feel simultaneously burnt out and isolated. Creating meaningful and plentiful opportunities for teams to connect and participate in purpose-driven work is critical for engagement.
- Adopt a human-centered approach. Tailor opportunities for engagement to the skill sets, interests, and abilities of individual employees and teams. This means listening to the needs of the workforce and responding accordingly.
- Employees should be able to speak to your purpose. Through onboarding, frequent touchpoints, opportunities to contribute, and trying team/personal goals to your organizational purpose, your company can bring purpose to life in a way that feels personal.
- Substance is key. People can see through fluff and want to see action.
- Get curious. If your company communicates its purpose clearly, employees can reflect on whether they align. It’s better for both the company and the employee when corporate and personal purposes align. To discover and unlock the power of personal purpose, ask questions like: What matters most to you? Why do you want to be here now? What would you do if you weren’t afraid?