The Crucial Role of “Purpose” in the Workplace

The word purpose holds deep meaning for humans. We constantly seek it – and the workplace is no exception. In fact, it’s often one of the main sources!

Many leaders are still struggling to retain employees. Some leave without warning, even when they are performing well and seem engaged. Leaders are left scratching their heads and wondering why. The answer may be a sense of purpose.

Research Says It All

Studies from Great Place To Work indicate that there are three key questions tied to workplace turnover:

  1. Are you proud of where you work?
  2. Do you find meaning in your work?
  3. Do you have fun at work?

If your employees are answering “yes” to these questions, they are much more likely to stay. They’ll also be more loyal, more engaged, and more proud to work for your company. Employees want their time to be meaningful. They want to feel like they make a difference in the world. Ultimately, these sentiments remain true across all generations and job types.

So, what can you do to help your employees find a sense of purpose?  


3 Tips For Creating a Sense of Purpose

1. Connect the dots

Frequently remind your employees that what they do makes an impact. Every single employee plays a part in the success of your organization. Make sure they know it! Be specific and connect the dots between their specific efforts and specific team and company goals. Consider utilizing an internal recognition program with features like social posts and nominations. That way other employees can celebrate and be inspired too.

2. Foster growth

Employees feel like they matter when you give them opportunities to learn and grow. Invest in upskilling and reskilling to increase internal mobility. Oftentimes employees need to learn new skills or move to a different role to gain a higher sense of purpose. You have talented employees, so find the best fit for each of them.

3. Collaborate & mentor

Collaboration allows employees to work and engage with others. In doing so, each person will seek out the knowledge and skills of the other people in the group. (Or at least that’s what we should all be doing!) Interacting with peers also provides new perspectives. Sometimes that will be the golden ticket to finding the meaning in a task or project. In addition, let your employees mentor others when possible. Sharing knowledge, expertise, and advice is a way to impact others. And being able to impact others is a great source of personal purpose.


People crave a sense of purpose. As people leaders, you can help employees find meaning and purpose in their work. Give your employees opportunities to see their impact, to grow, to collaborate and to mentor. There are no better ways to unlock the meaning in work!