How to Inspire a Unified Sense of Purpose in the Workplace

It would be quite convenient to dismiss this article and state that the company motto gives employees a unified sense of purpose. However, this presumptuous approach fails to put into perspective the individual goals and ambitions of employees, which are in fact very unique and diverse as we shall soon discover…

The Ego is the Main Culprit

  • Some employees want to climb the corporate ladder so bad while others dream of their own start-up venture.
  • We’ve also got employees that just want to earn a living while others are very much concerned about their career transformation.
  • As you can see, one cannot simply ignore such individual ambitions considering the fact that each employee forms part of the company’s whole.
  • The ego drives employees to achieve something in life.

The main challenge however is to achieve…

Unity in Diversity

Employee ambition is just the beginning:

  • We’re yet to mention everyday workplace conflicts and the familiar tough competition to climb up the ranks.
  • It’s like colliding gears that are yet to achieve full momentum for the company engine to realize maximum results.
  • This simple perspective is effective in demonstrating how unity of purpose is necessary to keep the engine running.

Considering all the variables we’ve discussed, how then does one inspire a unified sense of purpose at the workplace…

1. Fine-tune Employee Ambition to Inspire a Shared Vision

It is important to understand here that inclusion is the best way to yield maximum results. This is similar to how geopolitics works:

  • The familiar duel between the East and the West usually takes center stage despite the number of countries involved.
  • Every country takes sides according to how their unique intentions are in tandem with the overall ambition of the two opposing forces.
  • Similarly, an employee is likely to be motivated if their individual ambition is in tandem with the company’s overall vision.
  • This is the principle behind loyal employees that end up working in a company for a significant number of years.

2. Create Awareness on how Individual Contribution Adds value to the Entire Company’s Progress

Varying employee performance can be traced back to the awareness they have regarding their individual contribution to the company:

  • If an employee isn’t fully aware of the implications, then they’re likely to take their work for granted.
  • Full awareness of impact however drives the employee to perform. It’s just the same way bee colonies work.
  • Constant communication amongst their ranks keeps them working like clockwork.
  • This awareness ensures that every bee takes full charge of its role without requiring any supervision whatsoever.

3. Win over the individual Commitment of Employees through Mutual Trust

If employees feel like they’re being ripped off by the company, then I don’t need to emphasize how demotivating that is. Moreover, companies shrouded with lots of secrecy will always have a big wedge of distrust between management and employees:

  • As I mentioned earlier, inclusion is key. Plus, the unified sense of purpose has to be formidable with no discrepancies whatsoever.
  • Thus, winning over the individual commitment of employees calls for the cultivation of mutual trust.
  • This means honesty is sharing crucial information within company departments to ensure that all wedges of mistrust are completely dealt with.

4. Create a Fair Mechanism of Conflict Management within the Company

Unfairness is everywhere and life itself is unfair. Some have good intentions of fair practice while others are exploitative to the point of being unapologetic about their cheating tactics:

  • In one of my previous articles, I mentioned that the workplace is not a place filled with angelic hosts eagerly anticipating for your personal career success.
  • Thus, you’ll rub shoulders and upset someone once in a while.
  • At other times, you’ll be the envy of employees with a twisted agenda in mind.
  • Other times, you’ll be major competition to a snitch or a back stabber for that matter.
  • These conflicts tend to thrive when there is no fair mechanism to address various conflicts involving company internal affairs.
  • Thus, a conflict management mechanism needs to be formed on the basis of fair and sound judgment.
  • Otherwise, those cracks may gradually become too big to repair.

5. Translate the Challenges and Success of the Company into a Team Affair

The company is more or less like the human body:

  • If a certain body organ suffers from an abnormality, then the whole body will register that something’s amiss.
  • If the eyes perceive something pleasant, then the entire body is filled with joy and bliss.
  • This principle should be used in translating the challenges and success of the company into a team affair.
  • Thus, the entire company needs to be informed of any major successes and challenges that it has to contend with.
  • That way, employees will acknowledge the individual role they play in every potential outcome.
  • Companies that fail to implement this principle find that employees do the same thing over and over again expecting different outcomes

Earlier on, I indicated how easy it is to dismiss this article on the basis that the company motto gives employees a unified sense of purpose. But from what we’ve discussed, it’s quite clear that overlooking people’s individual ambition only serves to compromise unity in the workplace. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, ‘The reason why the world lacks unity, and lies broken and in heaps, is because man is disunited with himself.’