5 tips to support your employees WHY

by Jul 21, 2022

These past two and a half years have shown us COVID-19, the Great Resignation, devastating wildfires, and more. Employees have experienced an awakening.

According to McKinsey & Company, nearly two-thirds of US-based employees say that COVID-19 has caused them to reflect on their purpose in life. As people reevaluate the work they’re engaged in or are willing to accept, they’re looking for organizations that support their purpose and their why.

Employees expect their jobs to bring a significant sense of purpose to their lives. Long gone are the days of working in exchange for pay. Employers must help meet this need, or be prepared to lose talent to companies that will. 

And, not only does helping employees find purpose reduce retention, it also increases their performance. Here’s a cool three-minute video from comedian Michael Jr. highlighting that very point. 


Here’s 5 tips for employers to support employees finding their why at work:


Give your people the tools to feel valued. But what are they? Ask them! We can help you with that. By conducting a climate assessment, you will uncover what drives your employees to be connected to your organization and therefore,  productivity and success. 

Reevaluate your company’s core values. Are they in alignment with what your employees are supporting? Do your people even know what the core values are? When employees believe the organizations’ purpose is aligned with theirs, they are more likely to stay and recommend it to others. Make your values visible and actionable, ask your employees what they mean to them, and then align all communication and actions accordingly. 

Each of your employees are unique and so is their purpose. You may not be surprised to learn that C-Suites are more in alignment with living their purpose in day-to-day work than mid-level management and employees, according to the McKinsey Individual Purpose Summary 2020. When gaps are reduced, employees are more productive, resilient, healthier, and more likely to stay at the company and recommend it to others. Assure your hiring managers are sharing the purpose of the company and asking prospective new hires what their why is – so as to better align and attract people who fit in well and will be happier and more productive.

Conduct weekly one-on-ones with your employees. Don’t wait until quarterly goals or the annual performance review. This will give you and your employees the opportunity to better identify and articulate their purpose at work and how you can support them. Be open, empathetic, and ask for feedback as a leader. We know that nearly everyone from new hires to C-suite struggle with receiving feedback. We can help you here, too, as we often conduct training sessions on this topic.

Get your employees involved in developing their why. Consider sharing Michael Jr’s video with your staff to kick start the conversation and facilitate conversation about what’s important to them.



Kathy & the Civility Partners Team

About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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