It’s hard to argue with the need for purpose; as human beings we simply struggle to exist and be happy without it.
This isn't merely a notion from Aristotle philosophy, there are tangible studies that reinforce our need for purpose, at least our sense of purpose in the workplace.
And that’s especially true for those of us who fall into the millennial bracket (guilty, just!). PWC’s Millennials at Work Survey found that 88% of millennials want to work for a company whose core values match their own.
When you consider that a report by The Institute of Leadership and Management named ‘Workforce 2020: Managing Millennials’ found that millennials will make up 50% of the UK workforce by 2020, the need for organisations to define and engage around their purpose is significant.
A common perception is that not for profit organisations find it easier to define their purpose, given that many of these employers will have causes more nobler than merely making profit.
But what about businesses from private sectors? How are they responding to the growing desire for a sense of purpose from their people?
There are examples of private sector business realising the purpose, of purpose. A recent survey carried out by EY on the FTSE 350 (the 350 largest businesses on the London Exchange) revealed a 6% increase in the number of businesses articulating the company’s purpose.
The same report also found that 41% of companies clearly link their "purpose" to their strategy.
That’s nearly half of some of the UK's largest businesses understanding that strategic objectives align with the company’s purpose.
It goes on to make a brilliant point on the definition of purpose, the need for purpose not to become a buzzword "that companies disclose but employees would not recognise."
MOSL, an operator for England’s water retail market, uses its platform to engage with its employees. The 35-person strong company went through a period of rapid growth, and the branding and uniqueness of its employee engagement platform helps unite everyone under one message, one brand.
The company’s CFO now writes a blog every fortnight to help keep everyone marching towards the same goals.
It’s certainly promising to see these trajectories towards a more purpose-driven world for employees and employers alike. How do you define purpose at your organisation? I’d love to hear it!