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Purpose-Driven work

5 Ways to Create Purposeful Work Now

People want to have a sense of purpose in their professional lives. It’s no longer a nice to have; it’s a driving force within our teams and for many who consume our products and services.

When it comes to translating this in a meaningful and sustainable way for our teams, many find the topic a bit esoteric and difficult to achieve. What does ‘purpose-driven work’ really mean? Why is it so important? How can I help to create purpose for my team today?

Simply put, purpose is all about the “Why”. We spend so much time as leaders building strategy, directing work and overseeing outputs, we very rarely stop to think ‘why are we doing this?’ As leaders, we need to be able to communicate the Why in a way that resonates with our teams. If you can create a meaningful purpose, you’ve found an invaluable fuel source for motivation and engagement.

How to put purposeful work into everything you do

Here are a few ideas on how you can start creating purposeful work for your teams today.

Find their passion and watch them grow. Purpose is the intersection of finding your unique talents and sharing those talents with others. Put away the job titles, job descriptions and organizational charts and identify one or two things each team member excels at. Assign work that requires those skills, set some direction and watch the energy level rise.

Put the Why into every day conversation. Connect the dots for your team every time. Not just during a staff meeting or occasional project kickoff. Tie everything back to the Why. Find a reason for people to care about what they do that has nothing to do with their immediate circle. Get them invested in the bigger picture and long term goals of the company, rather than just focusing on this week’s deliverables.

Create a culture of strong relationships based on empowerment and trust. A client of mine was exceptionally good at this. Every team she managed had a strong level of trust. During staff meetings she would call it ‘family time’ and what was said in that room, stayed within the ‘family’. The teams held themselves to a higher level of accountability and were able to work through their differences. Based on these dynamics, she was able to empower her teams to do whatever it took to achieve the lofty goals she set for them.

Focus on the outcome and allow for autonomy and flexibility. Begin setting outcome-based goals; let the teams work and flex as they need to; loosen the reins a bit so they can make better decisions without being encumbered by bureaucracy and micromanagement.

Give them a channel to make an impact. Having meaningful work is a huge part of achieving a fulfilling and worthwhile career. We all need to find our personal Why and feel like what we do matters. Find out what’s important to each individual and what legacy they want to leave behind in the job they have right now. I guarantee you that you’ll be surprised by the answers. Once you know their legacy story, give them room to achieve their goals and make the impact they feel most passionate about.

Creating purposeful work is as easy as 1-2-3

The three legged stool for building and sustaining a purposeful work environment is based on growth, relationships and impact. Allowing each person to have their own compelling purpose and interconnecting them throughout the group unifies teams and accelerates business performance. Every leader can take action on these today. Which one are you going to start with?