10 Ways to Engage Your Team By Creating Purpose in Work

10 Ways to Engage Your Team By Creating Purpose in Work

by Sara J. Baker, Ed.D.

There’s no denying that everyone wants to feel like their work is purposeful. We all want to know that what we’re doing is making a difference in the world, even if it’s just in a small way. And when we feel like our work is purposeful, we’re much more likely to be motivated and engaged in what we’re doing.

As a leader, one of your most important jobs is creating purpose in your work by helping your team understand how their work makes the lives of others better. When your team members feel like their work matters, they’ll be more likely to be motivated and productive. Here are a few ways you can help your team see the purpose in their work:

1. Communicate the company’s mission and values.

Make sure your team members are aware of the company’s mission and values. Help them understand how their work contributes to the company’s goals.

An example of this would be if your company’s mission is to ‘help people live healthier lives.’ As a team leader, your first step is to make sure your team understands what the company’s mission is. Once they understand that, you can help them see how their work contributes to the company’s mission.

10 Ways to Engage Your Team by Creating Purpose in Work

2. Share stories of how the company has helped others.

Your team members need to see that the work they’re doing is making a difference in the world. Share stories of how the company has helped others and explain how their work has contributed to those success stories.

Continuing with our example of a company mission of “helping people live healthier lives,” you could share a story of how the company has helped someone lose weight, quit smoking, or manage their diabetes. Explain how your team’s work was essential to those success stories.

3. Help them understand the meaningfulness of their work.

In addition to understanding how their work contributes to the company’s mission, your team members need to see how their work makes the lives of others better. Explain how their work helps customers, clients, or patients.

For example, if you have a team of customer service representatives, help them see how their work makes the lives of customers better. Maybe they’ve helped a customer solve a problem or made someone’s day a little brighter. Whatever the case may be, help them see how their work has a positive impact on others.

4. Encourage them to talk to customers.

One of the best ways for your team members to understand the impact of their work is to talk to those who are directly affected by it. Encourage them to talk to customers, clients, or patients and ask for feedback.

Not only will this help them understand how their work is impacting others, but it will also give them a chance to hear directly from those they’re helping. They may even be able to get some ideas on how to improve their work.

They might simply ask a customer how their day is going or how they’re finding the product or service. They could also ask more specific questions, like what they liked about the interaction and what could be improved.

5. Connect their work to the larger goals.

Help your team members see how their work fits into the company’s larger goals, which are aligned to fulfill the mission. Explain how their work contributes to the company’s success and is tied to creating purpose.

For example, if your company’s goal is to increase sales by 10% this year, help your team see how their work will contribute to that goal, which, in turn, will help fulfill the mission of helping more people lead healthier lives.

Maybe they’re responsible for generating leads or closing deals. Whatever the case may be, explain how their work is essential to achieving the company’s goals and, ultimately, the mission.

10 Ways to Engage Your Team by Creating Purpose in Work

6. Encourage them to share their stories.

Encourage your team members to share their own stories of how their work has made a difference in the lives of others. This will help them see the impact of their work and feel more connected to the company’s mission.

It will also help others on the team see how their work matters. When team members see how their work is making a difference, they’re more likely to be motivated and productive.

7. Set aside time for them to reflect on their work.

Reflection is a powerful tool for helping people understand the impact of their work and creating purpose. Set aside some time for your team members to reflect on their work. Maybe it’s at the end of each day or week, or maybe it’s during a monthly or quarterly check-in.

Encourage them to think about the following questions:

· What went well?

· What could have gone better?

· How did their work make them feel?

· How did their work make others feel?

· What impact did their work have on the company’s mission?

· What impact did their work have on the lives of others?

· What could they do differently to improve their work?

8. Ask for their feedback.

In addition to setting aside time for reflection, make sure to ask for your team members’ feedback on a regular basis. This will help you understand how they’re feeling about their work and what you can do to help them be more engaged. This way you can make sure you are helping your team in creating purpose.

You can ask for feedback in a variety of ways, such as through one-on-one meetings, surveys, or focus groups. Whichever method you choose, make sure to listen to what your team members have to say and take their feedback to heart.

9. Help them develop a growth mindset.

Encourage your team members to see failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Help them understand that mistakes are part of the learning process and that they can use them to become better at their work. Understanding the meaningfulness of our work doesn’t mean that we won’t ever make mistakes. But instead of focusing on our mistakes, we look to growth and improvement so that we can better fulfill our purpose.

This doesn’t mean that you should tolerate poor performance. But it does mean that you should help your team members see failure as an opportunity to improve rather than something to be avoided at all costs.

10 Ways to Engage Your Team by Creating Purpose in Work

10. Recognize and celebrate their successes.

Make sure to celebrate your team members’ successes, both big and small. This will help them feel appreciated and motivated to continue doing their best work.

Recognizing and celebrating success is a key part of engaging your team and helping to create purpose in their work. Celebrating the positive stories, even the small wins, will help them see the impact of their work and feel as though they are truly making a difference in the world.

Use these tips to create purpose in work for your team members and help them understand how they are contributing to the company’s mission and helping to make the world a better place. This will help them feel more engaged and motivated to do their best work.

Interested in learning more about our PACED leadership approach and how to create a well-rounded, purpose-driven leadership? Check out our online courses for more information.

Dr. Sara Baker, Founder of the Leadership Reformation

About the Author

Dr. Sara Baker is a thought leader in the area of positive leadership and healthy workplaces. With over 20 years of experience leading private and public organizations, she understands the challenges that employees face every day.

Sara is the author of Toxic Workplace Survival Guide, an essential resource for anyone who wants to thrive in spite of a toxic work environment or who is ready to quietly quit. In addition to her writing, Sara provides online courses for leadership development and coping with a toxic workplace.

Sara enjoys spending time with her family and friends on her farm in Texas.

Dr. Sara Baker, Founder of the Leadership Reformation

About the Author

Dr. Sara Baker is a thought leader in the area of positive leadership and healthy workplaces. With over 20 years of experience leading private and public organizations, she understands the challenges that employees face every day.

Sara is the author of Toxic Workplace Survival Guide, an essential resource for anyone who wants to thrive in spite of a toxic work environment or who is ready to quietly quit. In addition to her writing, Sara provides online courses for leadership development and coping with a toxic workplace.

Sara enjoys spending time with her family and friends on her farm in Texas.

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