Purpose – just BS?

We all need a reason to go to work. The more sense this reason makes, the better we do our job! Good results motivate yourself, colleagues, and employers.

Although certain professional groups naturally see a similar purpose in their work, personal purpose is defined very differently.

This also means that the efforts of company leadership to formulate a purpose that appeals to all employees must fail:

Either it is formulated so comprehensively that it becomes banal. (Example Facebook: “Give people the power to build communities and bring the world closer together“)

Or it does not reach the employees at all: 60% of the employees do not know the purpose of their company because it has no relevance. (see Kienbaum & Human Unlimited Survey 2020).

So how do you create meaning?

In two ways: Either, work allows you to live what is important to you personally (example “Patagonia”: environmental protection).

Or it allows you to do so outside of work: That means, for example, having time and flexibility to be there for your family (e.g., to care for family members), to indulge in your hobby (e.g., cycling when the weather is good, not because it’s the weekend), or to do volunteer work (e.g., telephone counseling at night and sleeping longer during the day).

The manic search for the one purpose which enthuses everyone and drives the company forward leads nowhere! Rather, it is necessary to drop those empty claims that conceal the actual corporate goal (growth!) – everyone can see through them anyway.

Instead, companies should focus on sustainability – and finally give their employees more self-determination so that they can pursue their own purpose!