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Skills, Growth & The Future Of Everyone: How To Motivate Your Employees

Oct 21, 2021


  • EDITORIAL TEAM Talent Management Institute
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Skills, Growth & The Future Of Everyone: How To Motivate Your Employees

Workers expect their work to provide a feeling of purpose to their life. Therefore, employers must satisfy this demand or be prepared for losing talent to companies that can.

If the turmoil in the year 2020 has forced your company or the leadership team to think about people's priorities, such as well-being, resilience, or even purpose. In that case, you're in good company.

Your employers are considering you as well.

About two-thirds of the US-based workers surveyed by Mckinsey stated that COVID-19 led them to think about the purpose of their lives. Nearly half of them said they are rethinking what kind of work they perform because of the epidemic. The millennial generation was nearly three times more likely to admit that they were considering rethinking the work they do.

The findings could be a source of information for your business's talent management strategy and overall performance. The employees committed to their goals on the job are much more efficient than those who do not, and they're also more robust, healthier and are more likely to remain at the workplace. Additionally, when employees feel they are aligned with the company's mission, the advantages increase to include greater employees' engagement, greater loyalty, and a higher likelihood to recommend the business to friends and family.

If you're anything similar to the majority of top managers, you've not thought about the specific goals of your employees. This is a very personal topic and may be difficult for employers to comprehend and is as difficult to discuss as it would be to encourage.

Even with these difficulties, the study found that 70% of employees reported their motivation influenced their job. Therefore, whether you like it or not as a leader, you play a crucial role in helping your employees discover their goals and live them. Your job is tough: the survey also revealed a wide range of opinions on how employees in the frontline and other groups are supported or hindered in achieving their goals at work.

The article below will discuss the role work plays in determining an individual's goal, and we define what employees are looking for from their employers and what they're not receiving and then outline how you can fix it.

What's the prize?

If you do this correctly, you will help your company be more productive and unlock the huge potential for a team aligned with the company's mission.

Be aware that the purpose isn't just "another corporate initiative." It's not possible to force this. If you present your staff with inconsistent arrogance or hypocrisy, you'll likely cause the company--and yourself--more harm than good.

Understanding the reason behind work

Mckinsey conducted a survey with over a thousand US employees about their motivation and the work-life outcomes that go along with pursuing this purpose.

The survey is part of an ongoing McKinsey research project to better understand the function of purpose within organizations.

However, before looking into the results, it is important to look at the environment that individual purpose plays out at work, as in the specific problems it creates for employers. The individual purpose is considered as a permanent overall belief in the importance of an individual's life.

People have a sense of fulfillment when they strive for something meaningful and important to them. There are distinct patterns of purpose or archetypes of purpose that help employers identify what they consider important; however, the motivations may differ from those of the people who live it.

The conclusion is that while organizations and their managers can significantly influence their workers' personal goals, they hold only a limited amount of direct control. Therefore, companies must meet employees in the place they work to help them improve their satisfaction at work.

To understand how you can achieve this, it is important to think about the relationship between the individual's goal and job.

Each person's mission may be distinct; however, a portion of it, whether small or large, comes from outside forces in the same way that a part is generated by the day-to-day work of the job itself.

Suppose an employee finds little value in their work; their motivation towards working efficiently will be much lower than a worker who finds their work to be very meaningful. It's the amount of purpose that employees are seeking from their work. This could shrink or expand. Employers should consider it as an objective they want to comprehend and reach. They must influence the growth of this whenever they can.

The organization's methods of influence play a key role. It's the only element of the company's purpose that it can have control over.

How do they achieve this? by establishing a purpose for the company that focuses on the role of the business and contribution to society and offering employees relevant ways to reflect on the efforts of the business and their impacts. They can also have an impact by improving the well-being of the business in terms of its values and culture. Improving inclusion and the experience of employees and transforming the workplace itself.

As a company leader, you would like to see your company's limited sphere of influence expand to the same extent as the individual's sense of what they want to achieve from their job. The closer the company is to this, the more satisfied the employee feels. In addition, a closer connection provides the company with more opportunities for employees to search for and expect more motivation from their work and feel more in sync with its mission.

The main word is "earn." Remember that when it comes down to the goal, you're only privy to what your colleagues give you the right to. The first step is to discover what they're looking for, after that, to determine whether they're achieving it.

What employees are looking for, and what they'll get

First of all, we are aware that employees of all levels within the company claim they need some meaning within their daily lives. Nearly 89 percent of the respondents agreed, a percentage in line with research conducted by academics.

Furthermore, 70 percent of respondents that were interviewed said that their work mostly determines their motivation. The sample of senior executives raised that number, but, even so, the majority of employees who are not executives claimed that work is their primary motive. This indicates a great opportunity for managers and employers to open the possibility to inspire your employees of all levels to discover and fulfill their goals at work.

However, when asked whether employees fulfilled their work purpose every day, the gap between executives and other employees grew. While 85 percent of executives and upper management stated that they were living their mission at work, just 15% of managers in frontline positions and employees agreed. More importantly, more than half of those employees did not agree, while there was only an enumeration of the upper and middle management and executives.

Make a decision, think about it.

The choices that business leaders and managers make is the most important factor in helping employees achieve their goals in their work. Making better decisions now, you will make a significant change in people's lives, the well-being of coworkers, and the business's overall performance. Here are three strategies to put your energy into:

1. Begin with the purpose of the organization

It's not always easy to focus on the company's mission to assist the lives of your staff; however, keep in mind that this is the part you are in charge of. Does your business seriously consider its place in society? Are senior executives using their company's purpose as a North Star to make difficult choices and compromises? If the purpose of your business is merely a poster for the walls, it's a waste of time. If you make promises about your goals but fail to follow through, the outcomes could be catastrophically negative.

If you're not certain that your leaders are adhering to the rules, you should start looking. Some organizations use internal scorecards to monitor the dedication of managers and employees and other employees to the organization's mission. Regular measurement can help leaders increase acceptance, recognize problems early and take the appropriate actions. Some companies go even further and incorporate objectives-based metrics into assessing the performance of individuals who lead.

You can take one step now to spend moments with the team members reflecting on your company's impact on society. It's important to remember that this should be earned. Incredibly funny emails to your team members about the corporate social responsibility that don't connect with your team's day-to-day activities can only lead to the apathy of others. It's better to have dialogue than monologue. However, reflections on the larger perspective can create an underlying sense of purpose when real and well-handled. The research found that the employees have a five times higher likelihood of being excited to work for a company that spends time contemplating its impact on the world.

2. Connect, repeat

If employees are given a chance to think about their personal goals and how it relates to the company's mission, positive things can happen. The people who take advantage of the opportunity to reflect on their purpose are almost triple more likely to feel fulfilled in their work. Incorporate this into the culture of your business.

Although storytelling workshops and leadership sessions are great forums to do this, bear your eyes on the root problem you're trying to solve may be in the leadership culture of your organization. Managers should be prepared to communicate their personal goals with colleagues, for instance, and be vulnerable to situations they're not experienced in to demonstrate these abilities and transfer them to their colleagues.

Take a close look at your leaders and managers. Are they able to practice a compassionate approach to leadership, or is their approach more like "stop whining"? Do you think that your team members are comfortable sharing personal information with you? Nothing is more personal than one's goal in life. If the level of psychological security is not a priority at your workplace, you'll never know that for yourself. If respondents to the survey reported experiencing very little security in their psychological lives and were not able to feel secure, they had a 0.5 percentage chance of stating that they fulfilled their mission in their work.

3. Help people realize their goals in their work.

Sixty-three percent of the interviewed people said they would like their employers to offer more opportunities to be purposeful during their workday. Therefore, it is essential to figure out ways to make your workplace more productive.

Many companies are eager to scratch the itch with programs that help employees' motivational impulses wherever they are -- in your community, for instance, or across the globe. In addition, certain companies provide paid time off to support such pursuits.

While these efforts are commendable and useful, they're not the ideal solution to the study's issues. The first step should be opportunities that will help employees feel more fulfilled in their daily work. When you take the initiative to enable employees to fulfill their goals in their work, you'll allow them to feel more satisfied. If your work aligns with the corporate's goals, the feeling of fulfillment will eventually benefit the business.

Take the case that was set by North American insurer USAA under the then CEO Joe Robles. Robles (who retired from USAA in 2015) ensured that all employees went through intensive four-day training to demonstrate an enduring commitment to its customers within the US military. In addition, Townhall meetings and other forums bolstered the effort by inviting employees to ask questions and discuss ideas on how they can accomplish their mission.

Motivated employees are more productive and are more likely to come up with new ideas. According to the 2018 report, the employees of USAA have presented more than 10,000 concepts to USAA every year to enhance the customer experience. Nearly 900 were granted patents, with 25 of them written by one of its security personnel.

Town Hall meetings and fully immersive small-group discussions may not be as appealing as a paid leave to make a difference on the planet. Still, they're far more effective in helping employees realize what they can accomplish within their daily work. In addition, most employees spend most of their working hours making space for small things to be more meaningful could quickly lead to improved work experiences and more pleasant work environments for all employees.


The COVID-19 has everyone reassessing their work and their lives, and many of them now want their work to be a significant source of fulfillment within their life. Employers, ready or not, will need to be able to meet this demand or be ready to lose talented employees to companies that are. The positive side? The advantages of having individual goals right are significant as they are self-reinforced and are not limited to the well-being of employees but also the overall performance of the company.

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