How We Outline the Meaning of Our Work
When you have a sense of purpose at work, you feel dedicated, innovator and passionate. Your focus on the outside is to serve the organization, while your professional goal is in balance with your personal goal.
A purposeful life is full of intention, directionality, and meaning. The sense of purpose determines our actions and influences the way we feel, especially at work.
In general terms, work is defined as the effort made over a period of time without the involvement of an immediate reward, but in close connection with inner discipline and extrinsic motivation.
Purpose is defined as a sense of intentionality and direction in life. It is driven by a fundamental cognitive need, as it gives people both a sense of integrity and an extended perspective at work and beyond.
Roy Baumeister considers that there are three essential meanings of work: career, occupation and vocation.
“A career through work is motivated by the desire to be successful and to receive recognition. The work that we consider an occupation refers to the accomplishment of tasks for obtaining a salary, without the person getting too involved or having other personal satisfactions from his work.
When work is considered a vocation, it is performed because of a sense of personal duty or because it is considered to be the purpose of the individual. The vocation can arise either from the perception of a responsibility towards the general well-being of the society, or it can be based on the distinction of a (moral) obligation regarding the attainment of the individual potential or of one’s own fulfilment.”
• Employees are much more involved when they consider their work to be meaningful and dedicated to fulfilling the company’s core purpose.
• As work and life become more interdependent than ever before, people are increasingly looking for a purpose through and in the workplace, which can be strengthened through both personal action and organizational support.
• Leadership initiatives are most effective in creating work commitment when supervisors can increase employees’ feelings of importance in their workplace.
Some ideas for building a sense of purpose at work:
• Regularly discuss the organization’s performance goals and objectives; these conversations allow managers to proactively mitigate problems and quickly identify growth opportunities to give team members a sense of purpose they want in the workplace
• Permanently measure the personal growth and development of employees; overall understanding of what people want in life can help organizations better support their personal and professional goals.
• Encourage employee development; supporting employees to connect with others within the company and to explore internal resources or training courses can help team members learn new skills and grow rapidly while working.
• Support internal career development; when employees feel that their career development is a priority, they can look for their next career opportunity internally and not externally.
• Provide benefits and support for employee care; employee support programs give them the opportunity to prioritize their individual well-being and are great for providing access to qualified specialists or a variety of services to help them manage their lives more easily.
Although teamwork can sometimes be inefficient, collaboration is an important tool that cannot be missing from the “first aid kit” of any professional (mentor). Being able to get involved and work with others, discovering their knowledge to help them solve high-level or technical problems, can help employees and organizations to address interdisciplinary issues.
In addition, these interactions can help open up employees to topics or perspectives that they may not have considered before. This means that if they lack a sense of purpose for a task or function, their interaction with someone who has a different perspective can help them change their thinking process and find a purpose in the task for themselves.
Employees who have the opportunity to guide their colleagues may gain a different perspective when they are able to pass on their knowledge to others by teaching them something. These types of opportunities allow mentors in organizations to provide guidance to those with less knowledge or experience (who may have difficulty in a given situation).