Bringing the team together

How often does your team feel like they are working together towards something bigger than themselves, towards something meaningful? In other words, how often are they connected to the bigger picture, the purpose of their work? The key to motivation and happiness in the workplace is not so much money, it’s meaning. Those people who feel fulfilled with their work because it is meaningful, are happier and more compelled to work hard and stay committed to their jobs and employers. 

The world has never been more unpredictable and rapidly changing as is now. Not just the macroeconomic landscape but the ever-evolving changes in technology and the implications on the workplace, changes in societal attitudes towards work and work-life balance, remote work models, our move towards sustainability, to name a few. 

In such a fast-paced world, one guiding leadership principle remains invaluable to those leaders looking to keep a strong and united, productive team. When there is volatility, uncertainty, confusion and ambiguity, people look for leadership. History would suggest that the people we admire in these situations are those who offer a guiding voice and unite us through bringing people together and reminding us that we are working towards something bigger than ourselves. Think of Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela. Nothing brings people together than a united purpose and a strong leader. Bringing the team together to remind them of their greater purpose, what their work is contributing towards to help others, to provide a greater good, gives people a reason to excel and do their best.

How to connect to purpose 

There’s so many ways to reinforce on a daily basis how people are doing meaningful work. It does not have to be left to an annual all-company get together. Here are just a few ways to connect others to their purpose at work; 

–     Create an interconnected map to purpose, with everyone’s jobs/ tasks outlined in an interconnected diagram allowing them to see how their tasks contribute and tie in with other people to see the purpose to be delivered. 

–     Check in to ensure your team can articulate how their role and the tasks they do contribute to the greater good or connect to the organisation’s purpose. 

–     Ensure your company or team has a strong and meaningful vision statement, goals and strategy in place and highly visible to staff. Reinforce the purpose often, from hanging the vision statement and goals in those areas with high foot traffic, like the kitchen and meeting rooms, to using language to reinforce it in company emails. And make sure your vision statements are not the stuffy, old corporate bland statements from the 90s. Make them relevant, relatable, strong and inspiring but not unattainable. Keep it real. 

–     Reward purposeful behaviour rather than achievements; you should be more focussed on contributions than achievement. 

–     Ensure people can see the results of their labours. Organisations like Lifeblood, now send donors regular text messages after they have donated blood, so they know which hospital your blood goes to and even what how it is used. This is enormously motivating to keep giving blood, the more you know how your labours have helped others, you are connected to the purpose and it becomes a much more meaningful experience. If those people in the call centre of an insurance company, know that their work in logging the claim and organising an assessment to be made results, at the end of a long line of tasks, in a family being able to move from a fire damaged home into a new home, if they see the people and hear their gratitude and relief, this gives an enormous amount of motivation to help them, and help others on the next call they take. 

It’s important to remember, good leaders are clear on the purpose but remain open to the method of moving forward. The not-so-good leaders are less clear on purpose (why we need to do what we do) and very clear on the method (how we need to do what we do). Good leaders who stay focussed and strong on connecting others to the purpose – the why we do what we do – take a facilitative approach, encouraging the collaboration and co-operation of others to reach the goal. They know that the best tool they have is the conversation, the ability to collaborate and find a way forward together. 

If you and your team want to kick off the year on the right foot, get in touch today, I’d love to help.

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