The power of purpose in employee engagement

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It’s getting increasingly more difficult to attract and engage really good people with mainstay methods like a good salary, pretty perks or a quirky office environment. Now, more than ever, employees want something else – something more MEANINGFUL – to get them motivated and engaged.

Purpose is what drives the new zeitgeist – particularly among millennials. Given the choice, people choose to spend their lives doing things that matter.

Now, consider Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Of course, it makes sense that as one’s needs are covered; we start to look for something else. A higher purpose.


This this new breed of employees takes it further; they are willing to substitute a considerable part of the material wealth otherwise available to them to achieve ‘purpose’.


All around me, I see successful corporate executives actively looking for companies where they can have a bigger impact. As the Founder of Hive, I’ve been contacted a good few times by successful people who are looking for the right startup company to join, even if it costs them half their salary and their company car. They just don’t feel fulfilled by their corporate jobs, they don’t feel like they are making a difference.

If companies want to continue to be able to attract and retain the best people, they need to be able to understand this shift in the zeitgeist and discover PURPOSE.

You could argue that there has been an unhealthy misconception that “purpose” translates into “not commercially viable” or that as a company you have the option to choose between being profitable or being good, however; consumers are equally (if not more) sensitive to using, buying and advocating products or services that are responsible. That’s surely going to give responsible organisations a significant competitive advantage.

So what is YOUR purpose? Whatever it is, discover it quick because if it’s genuinely worthwhile you’ll reap the rewards when you share it with your employees and customers.

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