Want an engaged team? How you can help your people find purpose in their work.

An organisation’s vision aims to connect everyone on a shared journey of success. Wouldn’t it be great if that’s all it took to rally people together and get everyone excited about the future?

The glaring reality, screaming from engagement survey results (however engagement is measured), is that the majority of people in most organisations aren’t connected in meaningfully into their organisation. In other words, their organisation’s vision probably means very little.

How do leaders then bridge the gap between where people are at and creating a journey that’s worth going the distance for?

Aligning your team through shared strategies and goals is not enough. Numbers and outcomes are great for the rational side of our brain, but they do little to inspire and connect us emotionally. 

As leaders, we need to find ways to help connect people into their work in a way that’s meaningful for them.

Some people work for personal fulfillment; others work for the love of what they do; others enjoy the social aspects of work. Internal motivation is different for everyone. As Simon Sinek says ” We all want to feel like we’re contributing to something meaningful. And that something may just look a little different to me than it does to you”.

When did you last ask your team:

  • What matters to you in the work that you do?
  • What do you care about the most here?
  • What does this organisation succeeding mean to you? What role do you want to play?
  • If you think about what you’ve personally helped achieve in this business so far, what are you most proud of? 

People will engage in when they have leaders worth following, work worth doing, and where they contribute something worth caring about. 

Research tells us that people are already motivated to do great work¹. People don’t come to work to stuff things up. People want to do their best but it’s got to be a fair and rewarding exchange. People will bring their best when the results are achieved in a way that people:

  • Feel heard, valued and recognised
  • See the connection between their effort, results and the progress being made (in a way that’s meaningful to them)
  • Understand how their contribution, contributed toward a greater good.

As a leader, your narratives that create meaningful connection between individual purpose, team purpose and organisational vision and mission are well worth investing time in creating. This is how you bridge the gap between where people are at and creating a journey for people that’s worth them going the distance for.

What questions are you going to include in your 1-1’s to spark a new connected conversation with your direct reports? I’d love to know you how get on.

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