Purpose at work: It matters for employees, it should matter to you

Purpose at work: It matters for employees, it should matter to you

After a year that had people re-evaluating life priorities, employees ask themselves how to find meaning in a job more than before. Company purpose and values that align with employee’s sense of individual purpose are crucial for businesses and organisations who want to stay relevant and attract talent, especially tech talent.
 

For talent in a competitive tech market, purpose is a matter of fact

Purpose is a crucial factor for candidates when choosing a company and, once in a job, whether to stay. A Hays Belgium study revealed that nearly a third of employees across all sectors look for a company with a purpose. According to McKinsey, 70 per cent of employees stated their sense of purpose is defined by their work. Given the severe skills shortages in some areas of tech, such as cloud computing, cybersecurity, data analytics, UX/UI, machine learning, web and software development, Agile methodologies, and project and change management defining a clear purpose for the company must remain top of the list. Tech talent are looking for employers who value them and match their expectations – purpose included.
 

A diverse and purpose-driven workforce expects more than just words

This isn’t new, but Covid-19 has pushed it higher up the agenda than ever before. Six years ago, 92 per cent of the 250 largest companies in the world reported on their corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. The pandemic drove people to question their purpose in life, what they want and how they can achieve it.
 
The workforce is increasingly diverse, made up predominantly of Millennials, with Gen Z on the rise – a population for whom individual purpose equals achieving something meaningful in all areas of life. They search for acceptance and a sense of self-worth and feel fulfilled at work when they understand how they contribute to a goal and that they are valued. Concretely, managers contribute to an employee’s sense of purpose at work by helping them understand the ‘what’ and the ‘how.’ Organisations contribute with the ‘why’: the company’s purpose. When employees’ values and identity align with the company’s purpose they are more productive, more engaged, more likely to stay and recommend the company as an employer and business.
 

The start-up work culture and what you can learn from it

For tech professionals, it is also about work culture. Transparency and collaboration are embedded in the way tech professionals work. They often come from start-up and innovation environments where flat hierarchies and an open-source mindset are common. It is also where most of the best tech talent start and build their careers.
 
If the start-up world can serve as another clue, most European employers surveyed by Atomico, a venture capital firm, have seen their employees place more emphasis on company mission in the last 12 months. However, employees in the non-profit, healthcare and education industries continue to feel more inspired than those in tech – these are industries where the ‘why’ is the organisation itself.
 
In conclusion, it is clear that companies must find a real purpose, act on CSR, employee wellbeing, and diversity and inclusion if they are to remain relevant and attract and retain talent.

 

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