In April we talked about how we at HWC often use the word play when we talk about our workplace culture and performance. But play is just one of our key motivators for work. Purpose is another. Purpose is the sense of value ascribed to the outcome of your work. It’s the impact that your work has on people and the environment.
In business, we tend to obsess over the “how” – as in “here’s how to do it.” Yet we rarely discuss the “why,” as in “here’s why we do it.” But it’s often difficult to do something exceptionally well if we don’t know the reasons we’re doing it in the first place.
Dan Pink, DRIVE
Recently, a group of HWC performance advisors discussed what it means to have a positive impact in work. First, we recognized that the concept of impact can look different from person to person. It can be very personal and it requires individual answers. So it’s important to understand why a person operates – what gives you purpose. While it’s not necessarily quantifiable or tangible, how you think about your job and its value really matters.
We all want to feel valued and to feel we do something rewarding. It gives us purpose, fulfillment, and a sense of connection with others. It’s important to build meaning in our work. It’s equally important to understand our motivation. Simply put, why we work impacts how we work.
At HWC, we believe good government can change the world. That’s our company’s purpose. This shared belief informs our beliefs and practices. It is why we exist and reflects our mission. It drives us to take specific actions, both inside the company and on behalf of our clients.
What’s the purpose behind your work? What makes your work meaningful to you? Remember, purpose is personal. For one individual, “purpose” might be bold and audacious; for another, smaller acts of meaning can fit the bill. Either way, finding and creating purpose can help you re-frame your work and motivate you to perform at your best.