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Your 2020 Priorities

By Tom Weber

November 22, 2019

Consider these three items priorities for 2020, then keep reading:

  • Higher productivity
  • More engaged team members
  • Lower employee turnover

I present to you a solution below that makes your business better, faster, and smarter than you ever thought was possible.

Pursuit of Purpose

Did you know that feeling connected to a sense of purpose is the largest contributor to overall employee well-​being, according to a study published by Gallup, titled Are Your Star Employees Slipping Away? Only a fraction of the U.S. labor market reports that they would use “career” and “purpose” interchangeably. Many employees do not feel their job is meaningful; instead, they view their job as a means to an end.

So, what’s wrong with showing up and collecting a paycheck? According to The Engagement Institute in a 2017 Conference Board study, disengaged employees cost organizations between $450 billion and $550 billion annually. Feeling connected to a sense of purpose does more than boost overall well-being. It can also create more loyalty and increase engagement and productivity.

Some careers naturally lend themselves to making an easy connection to meaning and purpose. Teaching, caring for the sick or elderly, working with children and shaping the future, saving the environment, and public service are examples of careers in which employees may have felt inspired to serve the greater good. Finding the meaning or inspiration in feeding machines, mopping floors, running a forklift, or catching cartons off a gluer may pose a much greater challenge.

Finding Purpose and Meaning

Here are my top five key points for your urgent consideration with your team(s):

  1. Communicate your company’s mission statement and purpose more effectively. According to IBM, even if your company is not a nonprofit or purpose-driven organization such as an elder care facility, school for the blind, or disaster recovery service, this task may not be difficult. Even employees who play more of a supporting role or contribute behind the scenes can pride themselves on being a part of something bigger than themselves. Think of ways you can highlight serving others, relationships, customer experience, and your company mission statement, vision, and values.
  2. Recognize that not all employees find their sense of purpose through their career. Find ways to celebrate, recognize, and support personal accomplishments such as life events, hobbies, and employee aspirations to further professional and personal development. Launch an employee spotlight program, or highlight milestones and accomplishments in a company newsletter. You can also task your managers with finding out unique hobbies or interests from their employees and showing interest.
  3. Create opportunities for employees to connect to their sense of purpose in the workplace. Wellness, leadership, event planning, and mentorship are all relevant tasks that can lend a platform for employees to tap into hidden talents and passions. Even though employees may not feel passionate about their actual job, giving them a platform to tap into other skills and interests can generate passion for their company and fulfillment from their job.
  4. Acknowledge that some employees are meant to be with you for just a season. Some employees may be on a mission to pursue their passion, and while their interests and desires may not meet the needs of the company long-term, it can be helpful to maximize the enthusiasm and spirit of these employees by supporting their goals and encouraging transparency.
  5. Be a purposeful organization. Regardless of the industry, employees are drawn to companies with a sense of corporate social responsibility; 85% of employees said they were likely to stay with an employer longer if the employer showed a high level of social responsibility. Lead by example when it comes to getting involved in your community, and encourage employees to do the same through company-sponsored events, paid time off to volunteer, and matching charity donations. Employees who feel connected to the community where they live, work, and play have an overall higher level of well-being.

If increasing employee engagement, loyalty, and job performance aren’t enough, consider the impact on the mental health of your employees. Having meaning in your life and feeling connected to a sense of purpose has a positive effect on mental health.

Become intentional about creating a culture that prioritizes purpose. Contact your AICC team of internal and external consultants as needed. Let us help you to develop your specific strategy that promotes purpose and increases engagement, loyalty, and productivity for 2020 and many more years to come.

Here’s to 2020 and an even greater purpose within your company,

leading to enhanced customer and employee satisfaction!


width=150Tom Weber is president of WeberSource LLC and is AICC’s folding carton and rigid box technical advisor. Contact Tom directly at asktom@aiccbox.org.

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