Motivating Employees: Motivating the Purpose-Driven Employee

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Purpose-driven employees take an almost zen-like approach to their work. As long as they believe in what the company is trying to do, the other types of motivators are not very relevant.

These are the employees in corporate settings who do the minimum to keep a job to pay the bills but pour significant effort and energy into ideas or causes that they believe in.

Not every startup can have an inherent, noble purpose, but there are things you can do to build a sense of purpose into your company culture. Whether your business manufacturers widgets or provides training services, there is an innate purpose -- you are filling a need in the marketplace.

The first step to incorporating purpose-driven motivation into your venture is to define and communicate how each staff position contributes to the overall goal. A good job description should include how the assigned tasks fit into the business. Including a flow chart is an excellent graphical tool for showing where each piece fits, and matters, in the overall process.

Every employee wants to feel like they are part of the solution, but purpose-driven workers need to see and hear it more often -- and need to understand how that purpose goes beyond their job and company.

In addition to a well-defined internal purpose, strong companies also have an eye on the greater good. By launching a business with employees, you are already contributing. This current economic downturn is going to recover on the backs of small business through job creation.

Truly successful companies do more, both to enhance their goodwill in the market and just because they can. Whether sponsoring a Little League team or sitting on the board of major non-profits, entrepreneurship provides ample opportunity to give back.

Those employees who are particularly purpose-driven generally will not be satisfied with pushing the company agenda. They can, however, be motivated by what the company does for the greater good. Choose a charity or three that are meaningful to you and your staff and brainstorm ways to support them.

Select your most purpose-driven staff member to head up and organize those drives. Not only will your employees be more motivated to see your business succeed, but you will also make a name for your company as a concerned, responsible citizen in the marketplace.

Building goodwill is important in business, and keeping your purpose-driven employees motivated and loyal is a bonus. Include charity in your fundamental culture and your road to success will be easier and more satisfying.

About the Author-K. MacKillop, a serial entrepreneur, is founder of LaunchX and authors a small business startup blog. The LaunchX System is designed to help entrepreneurs start a business. Visit LaunchX.com to learn more about adding employees to your business startup.

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