Role of purpose in Employee Engagement

It is said that “The greatest tragedy of life is not death, but a life without purpose.” If there is a stronger purpose in life than the passion to achieve that purpose drives the person to that purpose, there is no need for someone to push him. The same thing applies to an organization or a business.

To have a clear, concise organizational purpose, is a very important characteristic that makes a business successful in today’s world. It helps the employees to connect with the organization as they understand what work they are doing and why they are doing it? 

Nowadays when we look at a company’s profile, we find in it the company’s vision and mission statement. But what matters is the underlying values behind that vision and mission which speaks about the company’s purpose. The values of a company act as a guardrail for how to make decisions and act and react to them. The purpose then acts as the North Star, the ultimate goal that guides the company. It goes beyond the products and services and instead describes the impact an organization or a company would have on the economy, society, and the environment for the next 100 years.

A clearly defined and articulated purpose propels the company forward. A relevant, aspirational purpose actively embedded in the whole company provides a multitude of benefits for employees. Purpose leads to higher levels of employee engagement which then leads to increased productivity and loyalty.

Correlation between purpose & employee engagement

  1. Goals connected to purpose help increase productivity. Purpose guides not just the company on the whole, but also the departments, groups, and teams. Setting up smaller, more tangible, and achievable goals helps the teams and individual employees to understand how their specific role fits in the team’s goals- especially fitting into the bigger picture i.e. the company’s long-term vision—the employees feel more fulfilled. This positive impact results in increased productivity.
  1. Purpose helps in retaining employees for a long period of time thus improving employee engagement. When the employees understand the importance of their specific role in the achievement of long-term goals, they genuinely enjoy their work and are more likely to stay with the company as they feel connected to the overarching purpose.

This number may even be higher for Gen Y (the Millennials) because research has proven that millennials are purpose-driven. They are willing to forgo a larger paycheque to work for an employer whose purpose of business is clear. They are less bothered about what they do and more concerned about ‘why they do it.

  1. Purpose helps in recruiting talented employees. If the prospective employees can connect with the purpose of the company if they feel that their values align with the values of the company they are eager to join the company and work there. They are also likely to quickly adapt to the work environment with their roles clearly defined in the purpose, this gives them fulfillment and helps them connect with the company for the long term.
  1. Purpose increases employee pride and engagement. When the company leadership focuses on short-term goals, very often the employees lose interest in their work and their performance also suffers. But when all strategy, plans, and actions are rooted together in the purpose—the employees understand what they are working for, they feel inspired, and thus engagement booms. 
  1. Purpose-driven employees become brand ambassadors. When the employees of a company enjoy the work they do, they get involved with the company, they naturally become authentic brand promoters. They propel the external marketing efforts in an authentic and meaningful way.


We may conclude that a clearly defined purpose, embedded in all aspects of business strategy and daily operations, empowering every stakeholder to embrace it, consistently communicated at all levels of the organization, naturally attracts the right employees who are not just talented but also excited to champion the business of the organization, enhancing its culture and bottom line.