According to SANE Australia, one in five people take time off work each year for depression, anxiety or stress. At the same time, Gallup results show that 87% of the world’s workers are either disengaged or actively disengaged at work. And it seems that these tragic statistics are not abating, that they’re in fact, getting worse.
Might the billion-dollar solution to these problems be to provide employees with a sense of meaning and Purpose in their work? I believe so.
Johann Hari, author of Lost Connections: Uncovering the real causes of depression and the unexpected solutions, also believes so. In fact, he proves it! This is a must-read book, in which Hari puts forward nine causes of depression, the first one being Disconnection from Meaningful Work.
If like me, you believe that a sense of meaning and Purpose is the solution to workplace ill-health and disengagement, here’s what you can do to get started:
- Identify the problems: What are the facts around employee engagement and mental health in your company? How are they showing up in terms of employee retention, performance and talent acquisition? What is it costing the company? Get real and understand the problems you’re trying to solve with Purpose.
- Get your leadership team on board: Without them understanding why Purpose is essential and ensuring they’re committed to the journey, you’re doomed before you start. A Deep Dinner is a really unique and fun way to get them connected to their own Purpose, to each other and to the company Purpose.
- Create the company Purpose statement: A clearly articulated Purpose statement that is co-created by your purpose-driven leaders and employees is essential. I love working with companies to create and write the statement and tell the company story to support it. Of course, creating the statement is the easy part, ensuring employees know it, believe it and act on it, is the ultimate challenge.
- Empower employees to BYO Purpose: Let your people know you truly care about them by helping them find their own Purpose and bring it to work. I call this BYO Purpose. I help leaders teach and facilitate Purpose through a combination of in-class and on-line learning based on the principles of The Purpose Project and the five stages of Measure it. Explore it. Name it. Share it. Do it.
“Three weeks ago, I was feeling depressed and devalued at work and I was ready to quit my job and look for a job elsewhere. Working with you to identify my Purpose project has helped me understand that I can bring it to any job and any workplace. Now I’ve actually applied for a promotion here and I have no intention of leaving.” Leanne, Employee
Purpose is the pivotal point on which leaders can help their people be healthy, happy and engaged at work, no matter where they work or the nature of their job. If you’re ready to get started on it, I’d love to have a Purpose conversation with you.
Yours on Purpose