THE POWER OF PURPOSE

The CEO Magazine - ANZ|April 2020

THE POWER OF PURPOSE
PURPOSE ISN’T EXCLUSIVE TO NOT-FOR-PROFITS; WITH A FEW SIMPLE STRATEGIES, ANY ORGANISATION CAN HELP EMPLOYEES FIND MEANING IN THEIR WORK AND PERFORM AT THEIR PEAK.
BETH WALLACE

With more than a quarter of the world’s workers actively seeking new roles, it’s little wonder that employers are pulling out all the stops to retain quality talent. Gym memberships, paid parental leave and flexible or remote working options are no longer ‘nice-to-haves’ but basic expectations of employees who know their worth.

Yet a growing body of research suggests there’s a far simpler (and more effective) way to reduce attrition. “In the past, we would talk about job satisfaction; today we talk about purpose and meaning,” says Dr Lindsay McMillan, Managing Director of Australian workplace research firm Reventure. “Given that we’re at work more than any other part of our life, people are very conscious that it creates some sense of intrinsic value and worth inside them.”

In 2016, McMillan led a review of the Australian workforce, which found that 72 per cent of employees were looking for purpose and meaning in their work – with younger respondents, in particular, deeming it a top priority. “We’ve got this incredible churn factor within work today,” says McMillan. “If millennials and younger generations feel they’re not getting value out of their work personally, they’ll just leave.”

MEANINGFUL WORK

Numerous studies support these findings. One survey by WorkHuman revealed the number-one reason employees remained with their company was that they found the work meaningful. In another by Calling Brands, respondents claimed that, aside from pay and benefits, ‘deeper purpose’ is the most significant factor when considering a new job.

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April 2020