For years, employers have invested in Employee Engagement, Satisfaction Surveys and Manager Development aimed at inspiring staff to feel more engaged, more productive and 'happier' in the workplace. Typically, engagement measures the relationship between a manager and his/her staff (70%), and the connection between an employee and the wider organisation (30%).
Classic elements of Employee Engagement include:
- How clear are your expectations at work?
- Do you have what you need to do your job?
- Do you have the opportunity to play to your strengths?
- How do you like to receive feedback, recognition and praise at work?
- Are you surrounded by people who care about you at work?
- Do you have a meaningful development plan to support your role and your career?
- How much do your Opinions count?
- How important is your role to the Mission & Purpose of the Organisation?
- What level of quality surrounds you in support of your role?
- Who do you have to confide in when times are tough?
- How would you measure your career progress?
- How many opportunities do you have to learn and grow on the job?
Engagement largely connects an employee to external elements in their workplace, with the assumption that if these elements are optimised, I will be a happier and more productive contributor.
In contrast, Fulfilment can be defined as 'living your Purpose every day', and is far more likely to come from within the person rather than without. Everyone has a fundamental purpose, but it is rare to find someone who can articulate exactly what her/his purpose is in life, let alone in the workplace.
Some questions to consider creating or discovering your own purpose include:
- Why am I here?
- What am I here to contribute?
- Who am I here to inspire?
- What is my Purpose? In life? At work?
Following a 2-year period of fairly intense journaling and introspection, I laid claim to my own Purpose statement: 'To be a great Dad, loving husband, and an extraordinary coach'. Every day I live up to my expectations of this statement is a day feeling Fulfilled and 'complete'. My ability to live my Purpose is independent of other people's opinions, and reliant only on my self-perception.
Similarly, my business Purpose is a guiding light in helping me to focus my efforts on what matters to my clients: 'To inspire business owners to create their Purpose, live their Values, and experience Success, Happiness and Fulfilment by running a business they can be proud of.'
Engagement has always been a useful paradigm to enhance workplace productivity, enjoyment and satisfaction, but I am not sure it is enough for everyone. Living your Purpose every day may be a more sustainable approach to inspiring performance, discovering deep fulfilment and being the best version of yourself at work and in life.