Wikipedia is now our go-to for encyclopaedic information. But, throughout the 90s Encarta was king. So what possessed a group of dispersed, unpaid, unrecognised individuals to bring Wikipedia to fruition? A sense of purpose. And mattering at work matters a great deal to businesses. Here’s five ways to harness the power of purpose.
Simply seeing the fruits of our labour can increase productivity by 30%. Feeling that we’re making progress further multiplies the effect. Pay attention to efforts that have been made and give them the recognition they deserve.
With shifting goalposts and new project directions it’s inevitable progress can be hampered. If there’s no longer a direct need for someone’s work, let them know why their contribution remains helpful.
Feeling like we’re involved in a team effort can motivate us to aim higher, dig deeper and perform better. We get a sense of collective purpose when we contribute to something we couldn’t accomplish alone.
Often the problem isn’t that people don’t have purpose in what they do. It’s that they can’t see it. It may require some thought to tap into, try taking a different perspective (consider who your work may positively impact). The social importance of your work may become clear.
Managers and employees are jointly responsible for embedding purpose in an organisation. Individuals need the mindset to balance pleasure and purpose (or enjoyment and meaning). And if you’re a manager, try to connect your team to a sense of purpose that resonates.
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