My former life as a corporate employee was rich and instructive in many ways and I gained life-long friendships (and a husband). 😉 However, at the end, I felt totally disconnected to the company’s values, where profit maximization was each quarter’s objective.
Looking back, I wish I’d had the opportunity to add something more to my job, something that gave it meaning, a real “why” to get up every morning (apart from earning a paycheck to pay the mortgage).
Today, as a sustainability entrepreneur, I meet a lot of people going through the same process, wanting to get more out of their jobs, struggling with burn out, bore out or other mental problems.
I believe that by taking action for positive impact through your job and at your workplace you add purpose to people’s job, thus improving (and avoiding) these types of situations.
Because, when we help others and we are part of something bigger, we feel that we belong – and that soothes our soul.
Action for positive impact can be many things.
What I mean with that is that through my actions in my professional life, I have a positive impact on others, improving their lives, reducing environmental or social injustice, being part of a larger movement, having a societal purpose beyond profit maximization. Such as making sure that with my job I reduce my company’s footprint, that I help underprivileged people or that I actively take part in a social or environmental cause organized (or not) by the company.
7 benefits of taking action “for good” at work and adding purpose to your job
1 – Well-being
Having a positive impact for society and the planet is not only great for motivation, but enhances well-being. According to Psychology Today, “Generosity is strongly associated with well-being, it comes from a powerful sense of connection to others, an empathic and compassionate transcendence of separateness, and of our own self-centredness”.
2 & 3 – Engagement + Retention
“Purpose at Work” the largest global study on the role of purpose in the workforce conducted in 2016 by LinkedIn and Imperative suggests that 73% of employees are satisfied with their work when purpose is tied to their motivations for working and 39% are more likely to stay at their company for more than 3 years.
And being able to attract and retain talented employees is key for the long term success of businesses. Especially when it comes to the younger workforce for whom purpose is key: according to the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey,
“millennials want leaders to more aggressively commit to making a tangible impact on the world.”
4 & 5 – Performance + Profitability
“Purpose at Work” suggests also that connecting employees to purpose brings measurable business impact: the majority of companies with a clearly articulated and understood purpose experienced growth of +10%.
According to Officevibes, employees that feel good at work, will also “produce more quality work”, making customers happy. And “Happy customers keep coming back and they refer other people to your company.”
5 & 7 – Innovation + Initiative
Last but not least, engaged employees that feel well about what they do and how they can positively contribute to society, will be more prone to show initiative and innovate beyond their job scopes.
For companies, “the resulting innovation means they stay at the forefront of their respective industries”. (Source: 6G blog).
Taking positive action for society at work or within your job function has many benefits such as increasing wellbeing, engagement, productivity and your sense of belonging to something bigger!
- What positive societal actions have you taken in your job recently?
- How has this changed how you feel at work?
If you want more ideas on how to engage employees on your company’s Sustainability journey, download the free guide “5 steps to activate positive impact from within”.
If you want more ideas on how to take simple action for Sustainability at work (even if you don’t have a lot of time), check out this free workbook.
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