Whilst it’s important for your business to establish a strategic purpose, it’s crucial that this message is communicated to your employees and those associated with the organisation. It might not be difficult for you to spring out of bed and start each day determined to succeed, but do your colleagues share the same enthusiasm?
Ultimately, your vision for the business can only be achieved if everyone is pulling in the same direction – there’s no room for passengers in thriving organisations. For this to happen, you need your team to understand their own purpose, so they can use this to overcome obstacles.
What motivates you might not motivate someone else. Therefore, when you communicate the purpose, you need to think about your audience and deliver it in a way that inspires them to commit to the objectives of the business.
Instead of pushing someone forcefully, a powerful purpose will naturally pull aspirational individuals to the end state. Humans are hardwired to seek out purpose, so it’s not a case of if your colleagues have one, it’s whether they know what it is yet.
Coming back for more
To propel your business forward, you need your workforce to turn up with the same motivation and enthusiasm as they did in their first few weeks in the role. Of course, there will be times when productivity slips due to circumstances outside of your control, but it’s crucial that these days are few and far between.
The right purpose reminds employees why they took the job in the first place and why they keep coming in each day. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much you’re earning if the culture of the organisation doesn’t align with your own personal goals.
Remember, communication is a two-way process, so asking your colleagues what they think about the work they are doing and what they are hoping to achieve will give you a better understanding of how to make the purpose relevant to them. You might find that some are less motivated by money and prefer the purpose to be development orientated.
Of course, you shouldn’t alter the wider business purpose to suit everyone, but you should try to translate it in a way that inspires colleagues to give extra effort when completing their daily tasks.
Choose your own path
Whilst it’s important to guide colleagues and help them understand the purpose of the business, there’s a fine line between motivating and overwhelming people. Of course, as the business leader it’s your job to make sure everyone is on the same page, but that doesn’t mean you have to force people into your way of thinking.
A powerful purpose should motivate and inspire employees, as they develop a strong emotional attachment to their goals and are excited by the challenges ahead. Telling people what they should strive to achieve and how they should go about doing it is counter-productive, as you risk pushing people too far out of their comfort zones to the point where they give up before they’ve started.
Giving employees a general direction is fine, but it should be up to the individual how they choose to get there. This freedom of choice is what motivates employees to keep pushing forward, as they gain personal satisfaction from the journey and working with a purpose.
Remember, it’s almost impossible for your business to realise its long-term vision without a purpose to motivate your employees. Therefore, understanding your workforce and communicating the business purpose in a way that resonates with them is an important skill to master.