Study: Employees Want to be Given a Sense of Purpose at Work

Employees want to be given a sense of purpose at work and know how their contribution makes a difference, according to recruiting experts Hays.

According to findings in the latest Hays Journal, the recruiter says that the value in employee engagement terms of a competitive salary and perks has reduced and been replaced by a desire to work with purpose and make a difference.

“Employee engagement was traditionally driven by a good salary and attractive benefits, but today most people see these as a given,” says Lynne Roeder, Managing Director for Hays in Singapore.

“Instead they look at what an organization is working towards and known for. Crucially, they want to know that, as an employee, they will understand what they are working towards and how they make a difference, which gives them a greater sense of purpose.”

The culture of a company has a big part to play, as tying the culture to the aims of the company give employees a common goal to work toward. This in turn can give employees a greater sense of purpose and value.

“Employees who understand what they are working towards feel a greater sense of purpose and that’s a powerful driver of engagement,” says Lynne.

“They feel they are making a difference and are working towards something that matters. They’re also far more likely to support the organization’s objectives because they understand them. They’re given ownership in the organization’s success since they know what is expected of them and what their part is in achieving the desired outcome.

“In contrast, organizations that don’t communicate employees’ role in achieving organizational goals create an atmosphere of uncertainty where senior managers and executives are seen to rule from above. A ‘them and us’ culture is created,” Lynne said.

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