From flexi work timings, take-what-you-need vacation policies, to free lunches and self-designed career ladders – the fabric of work cultures today contain a wide range of external motivators that cater to a diverse workforce. The intent is to help employees perform at their best, and align with the company’s values. However, for 2016, organizational behavior researchers are attempting to get companies towards focusing on a single cultural component which will attract a different kind of workforce altogether – a culture defined by purpose.

Purpose can be viewed as an internal compass within each individual. Some of us refer to it as our calling, or the contribution we are here to make. Whatever the name may be, a key feature of our purpose is that it is innate to each one us, and is driven by a whole different set of motivators that aren’t external. Such motivators are intrinsic, and lead us to performing an action or behavior because we enjoy the activity itself. We don’t engage in the act for an external outcome, and aren’t inspired by external factors per say.

For organizations, this means really knowing why people do what they do, and then creating ample opportunities for them to make it happen. Now-a-days, more and more professionals look for positions at companies where they can create meaningful impact and experience personal growth. According to Imperative, a research organization that measures the impact of purpose-oriented workers, such people are:

  • 54 percent more likely to stay at a company for 5-plus years.
  • 30 percent more likely to be high performers.
  • 69 percent more likely to be engaged and loyal to their companies.

That is some favorable statistic, right? Here are some tangible culture practices through which you can strengthen your team’s sense of purpose.

  1. Encourage conversations about belonging in the organization. When it comes to an employee’s purpose, each of them needs to how their role fits into the larger scheme of things, and how it fulfils the company’s vision. Let them know what they are there for!
  2. Build incentive systems where teams can experience pride and joy for the work they do. And this needs to go beyond monetary incentives. Reward performance with gratitude, praise, showcases and even opportunities to design one’s own roles!
  3. Share decision making authority. Whether it is to influence product development, hiring, or managing team events, contribution to the organization helps employees own their presence.
  4. Every now and then ask your employees where they are headed towards, and what would help them get there. New skills, different role, or unique learning opportunities – invest in your people. Reid Hoffman from LinkedIn, calls this practice ‘tours of duty’.

We’re inviting you to tune into the True North of each of your employees, and build a purpose driven culture where each one can be their own person. Are you willing to take on the challenge?

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