Four engaging ways to embed purpose in your workplace

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On Wednesday May 6th we ran a Twitter chat, spearheaded by The Purpose Economy author Aaron Hurst and the GameChangers500 founder Andrew Hewitt, to find out more about creating organizations that take individual and wider purpose seriously.

The hashtag, #GetEngaged, is what we’ve been using for our series of chats around employee engagement. Our last Twitter chat on how to make engagement work attracted well over a thousand tweets.

Here are four tips for creating purpose-driven organizations, with insight from Aaron Hurst and Andrew Hewitt and the other experts that joined us.

An organization must have a purpose bigger than itself for people to connect with

  • Purpose-driven organizations anchor their values and ideals in everything they do
  • The business should have measures and controls to ensure it remains focused on its bigger purpose
  • People must be purpose-driven as well as the wider business

Purpose is created when organizations and people work together to create value

  • Individuals must cultivate a sense of what’s important to them and then bring that passion and direction to work. They also need to buy into the company’s goals and understand how they help enable that
  • Organizations must find and be clear about their values and then take individuals along on the journey
  • Recruitment must focus on purpose-driven people rather than those incentivised by money or advancement
  • Individuals that do not feel purpose may need to move to an organization that has a deeper alignment with what they deem as meaningful

Purpose does not come from a statement. It comes from doing something meaningful

  • Purpose is not necessarily working for a cause — people can work for a cause and still feel like they lack purpose
  • Purpose is the journey you take, not the map or the long-term plan — it’s not about the results but the approach you take
  • Focus on the energy that propels you to take part in a greater good — that is purpose

Purposeful cultures allow individuals to be themselves and bring themselves to the workplace

  • People and organizations change over time — evolution must be allowed or the effectiveness of purpose can stagnate
  • Modernizing and innovating can help you build on and sustain purpose
  • A purposeful culture requires organizations to ‘pull’ information and engage all stakeholders, rather than ‘push’ communication to them
  • Make sure your onboarding programs set the stage from day one — first interactions with culture are essential
  • Cultures built with purpose do the right thing — they don’t just focus on profits

We’ll also be sharing tips & insights at the Employee Engagement Conference in London on 18th September, with talks from inspiring leaders & industry experts, and a chance to network with some remarkable peers, all with the aim to help people realise the power of engaged employees, wherever they are in your journey.