Growing the Purposeful Workforce

By Rachel Adrian

img656723There are two types of employees in today’s workforce, those who come to work in order to get a paycheck, and those who believe their work can have a greater impact. Recently we have seen an increase in purpose driven employees as millennials enter the workforce and baby boomers look for a higher meaning in their day to day work.

Millennials in particular are well-known for being more purpose driven than any other generation. They have grown up recycling and volunteering amidst a host of emerging social problems and purpose has been infused into their daily lives from the very beginning. Millennials are an excellent starting point in growing purpose at work. However, it is crucial that other generations are not excluded from the movement.

Why Should You Encourage Purpose in the Workplace?1

Identifying a common purpose amongst employees gives employees from diverse backgrounds and perspectives an opportunity to come together and rally around something that they can all relate to. This leads to increases in engagement and participation.


Encouraging Purpose

1: Identify a Purpose: You can’t encourage purpose driven employees if you haven’t clearly identified and communicated the company’s purpose in the first place. In addition to identifying a common workplace purpose, encourage employees to identify and celebrate their own personal purposes’ as well.

2: Relevancy: Your company’s purpose should be something that makes sense and is relevant to stakeholders, including both customers and employees. It should be authentic and something that the majority of employees feel passionate about – if they don’t, it’s not the right fit.


Imperative’s Workforce 2015 Purpose Index details the state of purpose in the United States. Approximately 28% of the workplace currently identifies as purpose driven and this number will continue to rise as millennials emerge as the majority of the workplace. Even those that don’t identify as ‘purpose driven’ tend to appreciate having a common purpose. Companies that adopt a purpose and encourage employees to get involved early are more likely to attract top talent and remain top of mind and this purpose movement continues to grow.


Watch this inspiring TED Talk to learn about the importance of purpose: