It’s no secret that individuals and teams produce better results when they are motivated. Managers, coaches, and parents often seek far and wide to find a source of motivation for those they desire better results from. Motivation can come in the form of a benefit or purpose. Benefits are usually finite and have a shorter life span; whereas, purpose can exist a lifetime.
In companies, providing a sense of purpose is the best motivator. The purpose can come from what a product or service provides to customers and the benefit derived from it. Purpose can also come from the positive change or end result a project will produce when completed. These are great motivators to employees and drive them to be the best they can be.
However, even these items aren’t a guarantee when it comes to providing employees a sense of purpose. In large companies, the products, services, and customers can be very distant. They can be several times removed, which significantly reduces their impact on an employees’ sense of purpose. Projects are also limited as they do not always have a compelling purpose and are temporal, not lasting forever.
There is one sure fire way to provide all employees a long term sense of purpose. You can do so by identifying all the ways your organization provides value to your customers, defining each employee’s link in the value chain, and promoting each individual’s contribution to the value chain. This value chain is ever present and requires contributions from every employee in the organization to be successful. If an employee can’t connect to this value chain maybe they shouldn’t be in the organization. Also, it doesn’t matter if the customer is the ultimate external customer or an internal customer.
Let’s look at the details of making this happen:
Some of you are thinking this is a gimmick and that you can derive your own sense of purpose, motivating yourself to greater achievement. Great! That’s you. If you are a leader you can’t afford to rely on each individual to come up with their own purpose because if it doesn’t work you’ll be left with an under-performing organization that you judge to be full of bad eggs. In the end, however, others will judge you as the under-performer for your lack of leadership. Seek and follow the value chain; it will lead to success.