Purpose not Profit- A powerful Intrinsic Motivator

Since 1954, General Electrics has been known as one of the top companies that donates to non-profits. Under Google’s matching gift program, Google matches $50 to $12000 in donations per employee each year. Disney VoluntEARS encourages employees to volunteer in their communities and rewards these efforts with grants to the eligible non-profit of their choice.

There are many companies such as Coca Cola, Macy’s, Whole Foods, GAP, Walmart, Amazon, Universal and Hilton Worldwide- which year after year are among the preferred places to work at. The common thread running through these names and many like them is that these companies recognise the fact that a motivated employee with a sense of purpose is an engaged employee who performs better, is satisfied with his/ her job and isn’t looking to jump ship anytime soon. 

Today’s business leaders understand that bringing in a sense of purpose can transform your organisation. They not only encourage their team members to wear their heart on the sleeve but set worthy example.

Motivation itself as a subject has been studied for over a century by psychologists, sociologists, economists and organisational development experts. These experts tell us that motivation can either be intrinsic or extrinsic. Extrinsic motivation as the name implies originates outside the individual and is driven greatly by rewards (think bonus, pay raise and other perks). Intrinsic motivation though arises from inside the individual and results from the prospect of an emotional response such as enjoyment or personal fulfilment. The examples that we spoke of at the beginning show us the wonders of intrinsic motivation. But more on that later.

Intrinsic motivation is hard to influence from the outside yet not unachievable. The value that intrinsically motivated employees bring to an organisation has been subject to studies over and over again, consistently showing wonderful results. McKinsey data shows that intrinsically motivated employees are 32 per cent more committed, have 46 per cent more job satisfaction and perform 16 per cent better than others. Add to this the fact that there are more and more millennials joining the workforce every year. About 84 per cent of them say that making a difference is more important to them than professional recognition. Ninety-two per cent believe that business should be measured by more than the profits that it makes. Performance n Purpose Consulting (https://pnpconsulting.org/) can be an invaluable partner when bringing this kind of insights into practice. With its frameworks, methodologies, processes, tools and courses PnP can help build upon your employer brand and help your organisation define its purpose better.

It can help you meet your targets by deciphering and helping your people to see the proverbial bigger picture. In return you will have an engaged and motivated workforce rallying behind you. When employees know why they are doing what they do, chances are that they dedicate themselves to the cause with greater zeal and gusto.  Giving your team a cause to believe in, which is bigger than just the pay cheque, can be a huge differentiator as well. Encouraging them to work for their community or be responsible for bringing in the wave of change can help them to add meaning to their lives. The joy they will get out of attaining this sense of purpose will translate into dedication and satisfaction at the work place.

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