Is purpose the key to employee engagement?

by John Hilton26 Sep 2017
Could the key to truly engaging employees be in rewarding them for understanding the "why" of work? One industry leader believes so.

A Hays report last year found that 94% of employees said a clear understanding of how their role helps the organisation achieve its objectives is a ‘very important’ or ‘important’ engagement factor for them.

Moreover, 26% said they would look for another job if they did not have this understanding, while 51% ‘might’ look elsewhere.

A further 65% would go above and beyond if they understood how their role helps the organisation achieve its objectives, while 29% would ‘maybe’ do the same.

Jeremy Salter, head of employee solutions at Grass Roots, agrees that purpose is something that is increasingly significant, particularly to the new generations of employees entering the workforce.

“It’s important to understand that you can obtain purpose from any role as long as you can see the value of your actions and the progress you are making,” Salter told HRD.

"A sense of purpose is not reserved only for those who have found their calling. It can be derived from any task if the person doing the task receives appropriate feedback”

Salter says people can lose sight of the value of their actions making it all the more important to include feedback into people’s various experiences at work.

“Whilst the value of some things employees do can’t be measured. The value of most things employees do can be recognised.”

 “Recognition can be an effective way to create a sense of purpose by providing employees with specific, timely and frequent feedback.”

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