It seems that many services and organisations are undergoing a transformation and evolution. One of the biggest evolutions is what motivates people to work for certain types of organisations. According to a report from research firm Ipos Loyalty, people would prefer to work for a cause than for a particular company or organisation. This echoes the idea that has emerged in recent years that people are more engaged with their work when they believe it has purpose.
This connection to purpose is considered foundational for culture-focused organisations. However, the report suggests that this connection can’t stop at articulating the mission of the business. The mission has to become more of a cause, wherein employees feel as though their work makes a real difference in the lives of their customers and co-workers.
The report notes:
“This is a cause people can believe in, commit to, and derive a powerful sense of belonging from. It engages them emotionally as well as rationally.”
To address some of the challenges many organisations face, the report recommends developing a more connected and permissive approach to leadership. This can be especially difficult in organisations with a legacy of command-and-control, top-down leadership models. However, the idea is to encourage and empower employees to take action. The constant pace of change in the public sector, as well as in the business, education and nonprofit sectors, means there is less “time for a request to make its way up the organisation and then a decision to make its way down again.”
This does not mean there’s no structure. In fact, permissive leadership within defined parameters can create an environment in which leaders can trust employees to make the right decisions, in alignment with the values of the organisation. Keep in mind that mistakes are inevitable and can become part of the learning process. And with this kind of philosophy in place, organisations can become agile and adapt to the pace of change with strong communication and an empowered workforce.