When we were children, we were often asked about our dream job or what we wanted to be when we grew up. Back then, these questions might have seemed peculiar or irrelevant to our young minds. However, as adults, we come to realize that work is a significant part of our daily lives. On average, people spend 40 years working, which amounts to approximately 90,000 hours (Kaplan, 2023). Clearly, our jobs have a profound influence on our quality of life and overall happiness.
At The 2B Collective, we believe that purpose is the key ingredient for unlocking satisfaction and fulfillment in the workplace. In this article, we'll explore why having a clear purpose is essential, how it benefits companies, and most importantly, how it motivates employees.
What is a Company's Purpose?
A company's purpose is defined by McKinsey & Company as "the core reason for being and its resulting positive impact on the world." In other words, it answers the question, "What would the world lose if your company disappeared?"
A prime example of a company with a clear purpose is Timberland. Their mission is to "equip people to make a difference in the world" by creating outstanding products and contributing to their communities (About Us | Timberland, n.d.). Timberland not only preaches this mission but also takes action, such as their recent plan to plant 50 million trees globally within five years (Mainwaring, 2020). By embedding their purpose throughout the organization, Timberland becomes a true impact-driven company.
Why Should All Companies Have a Clear Purpose?
Having a well-defined purpose brings numerous benefits to an organization. However, one of the most powerful advantages of having purpose as an organization is the way it motivates and empowers employees.
- Meaningful Work: Employees seek more than just a paycheck; they want their work to have meaning and make a difference. When a company has a clear purpose that aligns with their values and beliefs, employees feel connected to something larger than themselves. This sense of purpose gives their work meaning and motivates them to contribute their best efforts.
- Increased Engagement: Purpose-driven organizations foster a sense of community and shared goals. Employees who identify with the company's purpose are more likely to be engaged and committed to achieving the organization's objectives. Their passion for the purpose translates into higher job satisfaction and a willingness to go above and beyond.
- Alignment of Values: When an employee's personal values align with the company's purpose, there is a powerful synergy. This alignment creates a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction, leading to increased loyalty and reduced turnover.
- Empowerment and Autonomy: Purpose-driven organizations often empower their employees to take ownership of their roles and make decisions that support the greater mission. This autonomy fosters a sense of trust and responsibility, motivating employees to perform at their best.
- Attraction of Top Talent: Companies with a clear and impactful purpose naturally attract like-minded individuals who are driven by more than just financial rewards. Top talent seeks meaningful work and purpose-driven environments, making your organization more attractive to potential employees.
- Resilience and Adaptability: Purpose-driven organizations tend to weather challenges and change better. Employees who believe in the purpose are more resilient, adaptive, and willing to face obstacles with a sense of determination.
Having a clear purpose is the key to unlocking the magic of a motivated and engaged workforce. Companies like Timberland have demonstrated that a strong purpose leads to greater impact and success. By nurturing a purpose-driven culture and aligning employees with the organization's greater mission, companies can empower their workforce, boost productivity, and achieve remarkable outcomes.
- About Us | Timberland. (n.d.). https://www.timberland.com/about-us.html
- Kaplan, Z. (2023). How Many Work Hours Are in a Year? Forage. https://www.theforage.com/blog/basics/how-many-work-hours-year#:~:text=Average%20work%20hours%20in%20a%20lifetime%3A%20According%20to%20Gallup%2C%20the,40%20years%20%3D%2083%2C200%20work%20hours.
- Mainwaring, S. (2020, 1 January). Purpose At Work: 10 Brands Leading With Purpose In 2019. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/simonmainwaring/2020/12/31/purpose-at-work-10-brands-leading-with-purpose-in-2019/?sh=606ec9b63521