Finding a sense of purpose at a profit-driven company

Written by Jo Owen CMgr CCMI Tuesday 04 October 2022
Creating a sense of purpose in a for-profit firm is harder, but not impossible, says Jo Owen CMgr CCMI: the recipe includes job crafting, enough space for personal life and pinpointing what you’re providing
A man with binoculars looking in different directions

People with purpose are often extraordinary people: think of the great explorers, mountaineers, sports people and entrepreneurs of the world. Not surprisingly, purpose is often seen as the elixir of motivation and performance: if your staff feel a deep sense of purpose, then anything is possible.

The reality is that there is a huge purpose gap at work. McKinsey reports that while 85% of top managers find a sense of purpose at work, only 15% of frontline managers and staff do so. And the purpose gap is getting greater with each generation. Korn Ferry found that 63% of millennials say that the purpose of the firm should be to “improve society” not “deliver profits”. Gen Z are going further and challenging management when they do not live up to the values of their generation. Just look at Disney employees forcing their CEO to speak up about Florida’s bill restricting discussion of LBGTQ+ topics. If you don’t have a sense of purpose, staff will either leave or force you to find it. 

But this opens up a huge opportunity for employers: firms which show that they have a real sense of purpose will not only be able to hire and retain the best talent, they will also have the most engaged employees. In a world where just 21% of staff feel engaged, that is a big win. 

So how do you create a real sense of purpose?

Want to learn how to create a real sense of purpose?


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