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Employees Must Have a Purpose

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Employee Engagement & Retention

  • Format: Self-paced
  • Course Duration: 1 hr 4 mins
  • SHRM Professional Development Credits: 1.0
  • HRCI General Recertification Credits: 1.0
  • Certificate of Completion (after passing quiz)

Recent studies have found nearly 70% of employees are disengaged! Not only does this hurt the organization’s bottom line with lost productivity and turnover but also its development and growth. With such a competitive economic climate, building an engaged workforce must be a priority!

This course starts with an overview of what employee engagement really is, why we should all care and what can be done to improve it during each stage of the employment life cycle. It’ll also address how emotions play a role in employee engagement and methods to obtain employee feedback.

As HR pros, you can help drive a culture of engagement by taking the lead and learning what you and your team can do to improve and sustain employee engagement. It will not only create long-lasting business results but also establish strong relationships with your organization’s greatest competitive advantage, its people.

HR Jetpack is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. This program is valid for 1.0 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit

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Title: Employees Must Have a Purpose
Module: Low Engagement
Duration: 5:51

We’ve gone over the indicators to look out for as it relates to low employee engagement, and now we are going to dive in deeper.

When I say the word Purpose to you, what comes to mind? According to the dictionary, Purpose means the reason for which something is done or created, or for which something exists.

Ok so let’s focus on the word REASON here, and let me ask you this; what is the reason that you go to work every day? Other than money of course, why do you work where you work? and why do you stay where you work?

The chances are if you have been with your employer for a while, or see yourself with your employer in the future, you have an understanding and alignment to your employer’s Purpose. That is great, but not everyone feels that way. And in addition, relating to Purpose, being at the place you work, and doing the kind of work that you do, may align with your INNER Purpose. This is important and we will dive into the Psychology behind that momentarily.

It is critical to give your employees a sense of Purpose. This helps to create the emotional bond between them and their work resulting in engagement. As a recent study from Deloitte demonstrates, how well you communicate your Organization’s purpose is directly correlated with how engaged your employees are.

So let’s think about your organization’s brand and their mission statement. Oh and a quick tip, if they don't have one, now might be a good time to start developing one.

The mission statement consists of the WHY, why does your organization exist. The statement should be clear and concise; here are two examples:

Google, “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Whole Foods, “help support the health, well-being, and healing of both people - customers, Team Members, and business organizations in general — and the planet.”

Reflect for a minute on how your employers’ Purpose aligns with your own, this is a good exercise, and one that you should relay to your management team. Now, let’s take a moment and connect emotion with Purpose. As humans, we all need a Purpose, wouldn’t you agree? We all need a reason and motivation for how we live our lives, and work is a big part of our lives.

The great Psychologist, Abraham Maslow, developed a motivational theory based on the human hierarchy of needs. The needs can be related to those of employees and can help identify their level of engagement.

This diagram highlights each of those levels.

At the very bottom is Survival. From a work perspective, you put in the time and effort to go to work every day, and thus receive a salary, resulting in you being able to live the lifestyle that you have chosen. The consistency of a paycheck means the consistency of you paying your bills.

The second level is Security, more specifically, I mean job security, i.e. that feeling that you have knowing that you do a good job at work, thus, it is more than likely that you will have a job to go too for as long as you want. Now some would say that there is no such thing as job security, I get it. However, if you do a good job for the Organization that you work for, you should not have to worry about whether you will have a job tomorrow. And in the event that there are lay offs at your Organization, as a good performer you will receive a good reference, thus you will find another job.

The third level is Love and Belonging, and in the work place belonging is the key word here. We want to feel as though we are connected to the group of people that we work with, and the Organization overall. It is important for people to feel as though they are a part of something bigger than themselves.

The fourth level is Importance and Esteem. Maslow believes that a person needs to feel as though they are making a difference, an important contribution to the Organization. It is important for a person to know how their role fits into the bigger picture, and how they are helping the Organization move forward.

The fifth level, at the very top, is Self-Actualization. Maslow believed that although most people have strong ambitions, only 15% reach this level and are highly engaged. It is those 15% of people who make it their job to inspire others and ask what they can do to help others. Leaders, true leaders, are inspiring and sincerely want to help others progress.

Now, I am guessing that as I was talking through each stage, you were thinking about yourself and where you fit in the pyramid. My hope is that you are at the very least in the green stage, also known as Almost Engaged, but if you aren't, now would be a good time for you to do some introspection.

Before we move onto the next section, I want to throw out the word Alignment. There is a direct correlation between Alignment and Purpose. If you do not understand, or even perhaps are challenged by your employers Purpose, then the chances are you are not aligned with your employer. Think about your employee base for a moment, does a person, or a group of individuals come to mind that you question their alignment? Perhaps they are misaligned, and perhaps you can identify some of the indicators of this. To find out for sure, I suggest facilitating an employee engagement survey, and I will take a deeper dive with this in a few moments.

Instructor: Hayley Buonopane

With nearly two decades in the Human Resources field, Hayley is a subject matter expert with a specialty in workplace planning and development, employee relations, organizational development, and talent acquisition. In addition, Hayley has partnered with C-Suite individuals who are in transition, and who have needed coaching and assistance relating to taking the next step...

Hayley's Full Bio

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