The power of purpose

Making work mean more can unlock new levels of loyalty, innovative design thinking, personal and team performance, and revenue growth.

Rob Purdy, Founder and CEO, CarltonOne Engagement 

Why do you work? Pre-pandemic, billions of employees would leave home every morning to spend their day at an office, store, factory, farm, on the road or on a job site. This daily pattern was (and will be again) driven by a complex combination of motivations. Work is where we earn our income, but it’s also where, in many cases, we earn our self-worth, our social capital and find our purpose in life. Work is one of the most critical elements of both our livelihood and our identity. 

Smart employers understand that they can’t engage an employee without engaging their sense of purpose. It’s a complex puzzle, with extraordinary benefits if solved. Making work mean more can unlock new levels of loyalty, innovative design thinking, personal and team performance, and revenue growth.  

The absence of purpose creates more than just an absence of motivation. It can be actively damaging to a company’s existence. According to Gallup’s global employee engagement survey, 85 per cent of employees dislike coming to work. It reports:  

“Worldwide, the percentage of adults who work full time for an employer and are engaged at work – they are highly involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace – is just 15 per cent. That low percentage of engaged employees is a barrier to creating high-performing cultures. It implies a stunning amount of wasted potential, given that business units in the top quartile of our global employee engagement database are 17 per cent more productive and 21 per cent more profitable than those in the bottom quartile.”

Gallup State of the Global Workplace 

Disengaged employees do what is required… and nothing more. Their work is transactional, scope-restricted and formulaic. On the other hand, motivated and engaged employees exhibit more problem-solving creativity, and are more innovative, collaborative and future-focused. They find personal meaning in their work and reap a higher emotional value from their contribution. For engaged employees, work has a purpose beyond their task list. 

The world’s most complex puzzle 

At CarltonOne, our business was founded to crack the code of employee engagement. It’s the world’s most complex puzzle, because at its heart it’s all about human emotions, gratitude, motivation and purpose. This work is deeply rewarding and meaningful, and along the way, we’ve introduced technologies that make a real difference in offices, factories, stores and boardrooms in more than 85 countries. Today, more than two million people around the world open our apps. They are used by managers, teams and employees to recognise great work, redeem for amazing rewards and create motivating incentive programmes. Our goal is to help make it easier for leaders to make work mean more – to better align business and personal goals and create an environment that optimises performance.  

As the pandemic splintered offices and teams around the world, forcing billions of people to create ad hoc home offices, the need for better connectivity and cohesion suddenly became very clear. And we’re not talking about faster Wi-Fi or more reliable network document sharing. A company’s culture is a powerful social and emotional force, and without the reinforcement of daily connection, employees can feel even more isolated, and leaders can struggle to build momentum and unity. Companies that can centre their culture around the touchstone of a clearly defined purpose consistently fare better with a distributed workforce.  

Defining purpose 

Purpose is the certainty that there’s more value to your work than the daily irritants of meetings and tasks and deadlines. It’s the higher reason that propels you to go further, work harder and think a little differently. For some, purpose is about creating a better world, helping others or creating a revolutionary product. For others, their sense of purpose is fuelled by a personal drive to be the best they can. Whatever form it takes, belief in a sense of purpose is critical to both personal success and business exceptionalism.  

In our recent video, we explored the transformational concept of purpose and how it led to the creation of our new eco-action engine to directly turn transactions into funding for climate change initiatives around the world. Because we serve customers in more than 85 countries, we understand more than most companies the opportunity for positive global change that our products and community of members can create. And it has led directly to what we believe is our true calling… 

The miracle of eco-action 

Eco-action is the missing link in many corporate social responsibility solutions. Helping employees and sales teams help the environment while being recognised and rewarded for their performance is a true game changer. It’s automatic, seamless and creates a tangible real-world outcome. To begin with, our partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects has resulted in more than six million trees being planted, and we are well on our way towards planting 100 million trees every year by the end of 2022. Based on this real-world success, we’re integrating our eco-action business model across our entire product platform – and branching out from tree planting to encompass ocean, soil and species protection. 

The power of purpose to help companies grow, help employees feel fulfilled, challenge the status quo and unleash generation-defining change is extraordinary. Work can mean more once it is aligned to a greater motivation than just profit. Every company, of any size, can benefit from inspiring its workforce, its customers and its vendor network to aim higher, do better and achieve more. It begins by finding the answer to a simple question: why do you work? 

  1. Gallup State of the Global Workplace – www.gallup.com/workplace/238079/state-global-workplace-2017.aspx