Experts Discuss the Importance of Purpose-Driven Work for Millennials

Companies filled with purpose are beginning to appeal more to job seekers. See how top business experts weigh in on Millennials’ thoughts about purpose-driven work.

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Experts Discuss the Importance of Purpose-Driven Work for Millennials

Here's what you need to know about what experts discuss about the importance of purpose-driven work for Millennials:

  • Purpose makes room for human psychological well-being.
  • Each department should have a hand in achieving a like-minded goal.
  • Motivated and determined employees directly affect business profits and growth.

Millennials make up the majority of the US workforce. They surpassed Generation X as the largest in the labor force by a million in 2016. Coupled with their advanced technological understanding, they are far from the lazy stereotype. It’s challenging to talk about millennials in the workplace without spotlighting their focus on social integrity.

According to PwC, 88% of millennials want to work for a company whose values reflect their own. Millennials’ reputation of job-hopping may come from their search for a business with a similar substance.

This group of people is more in tune with their contribution to society. Moreover, they respect their personal drive and expect a company to align with it effortlessly. Businesses must adopt this mindset to attract and retain the millennial audience.

The power of purpose

The definition of purpose in the workplace is doing something meaningful that motivates people to achieve their goals. This goes hand in hand with a person loving what they do — regardless of how much they get paid for it.

When it comes to human beings, purpose helps drive quality of life. Medical scientists studied how having a purpose in life facilitates health and longevity. They found that having a purpose in life may be the key to motivating resilience.

The definition of purpose in the workplace is doing something meaningful that motivates people to achieve their goals.

Essentially, purpose makes room for human psychological well-being. This conclusion can directly correlate with trauma recovery and stress regulation.

There are benefits of having a purpose extend to businesses as well. Having socially impactful events and features can increase employee engagement. People are actively concerned about their motivations, whether they know it or not.

Northwestern University discovered that companies were more successful when they developed a greater purpose. As a bonus, their employees reported their jobs had more meaning and were unlikely to leave.

The appeal for those born between 1982 – 2000

This is a generation notorious for financial anxiety and high stress. Still, Millennials are less concerned about compensation. According to Deloitte, this group overlooks financial integrity during their job search. They are “looking for work that elicits passion and helps them pursue: professional, personal, and social goals….”

This purpose-over-pay approach to job searches changes the dynamic for businesses. Millennials prefer a business that allows them to be meaningful. They want to connect with a business. Since they’re demanding more than just financial security, companies need to take another look at their practices. For a typical Millennial to take notice on a less-superficial level, wins need to be experienced by:

  • The community
  • The business
  • Individuals

As a generation of late 20-early 40-somethings, it’s fair to connect them with the future of the workforce with Generation Z workers. Companies could persuade them with high compensation and excellent benefits, just as anyone else. The difference is that without a clear purpose, Millennials will pass on an opportunity that doesn’t align with their values and find something more suited to them.

What it takes to create a purposeful environment

To create a positive and meaningful work environment, businesses should look at how their employees prosper. They should evaluate the work culture and see if staff feel they have a solid foundation of purpose. McKinsey & Company is a global consulting firm that discovered 62% of employees are still looking for more meaning in their work.

A purpose statement should be available to everyone to instill a driven purpose in employees. This can help motivate employees’ passions and let them articulate the value they want to create for people. This statement should avoid vague statements that make broad, unrealistic promises.

Instead, company leadership needs to rethink why their company exists. They should reflect deeper on what they’re providing the public and how they differ from companies offering the same things. Overall, a meaningful purpose statement should clearly define business goals in a way that inspires the workplace to deliver.

A purpose statement should be available to everyone to instill a driven purpose in employees.

A motivated and determined employee directly affects business profits and growth. The number of engaged and satisfied employees reflects a company’s loyalty level and retention. Therefore, their presence in the workplace is consistent, and their productivity excels.

Delivering on the business’ purpose

Even a well-written purpose statement is worth nothing if it’s not achievable. A company needs to be able to deliver on its purpose. Employees and customers notice when a company doesn’t follow through on its promises. Without proof of effort toward a cause, a business can seem untrustworthy. This can create a workplace that is:

  • Hostile
  • Toxic
  • Cynical

Regardless of the industry a company is a part of, it needs to adapt to a better system to achieve its purpose.

The first step is to focus on appealing to the right talent. Every business wants the cream of the crop candidates and top performers. Being mindful of the Millennial humanitarian mindset matters. Companies should appeal to their needs without compromising other generations’ talent.

Next, company leadership should build effective teams. Each department should have a hand in achieving a like-minded goal. Furthermore, they all need a high-level knowledge of what the groups are doing. Each employee knows what is going on through automated technology and collaborative efforts. This can facilitate more productivity toward goal achievement as team members clearly see where their hard work is going. Investments toward creative collaboration and objective planning help everyone’s workflow.

Leadership must live each day with a passion for the relevancy of their purpose.

Finally, leadership needs to exemplify this purpose. They must live each day with a passion for the relevancy of their purpose. This way, a company can be effective from the top down, with everyone having a mindset driven toward its goals. Open communication can help build this purpose-driven environment. Relaying concerns without fear can help build relationships with the right audience of customers and talent.


Based on these findings, it’s clear that the millennial workforce has certain expectations for their careers. Social equity is this group of workers’ concern — they prefer work that answers whether a business can give back and invest in the right causes.

So, companies should assess whether they are making a difference on a social level. Furthermore, they should foster an environment where their personal values and the company’s are aligned.

This can happen with an awareness of company culture and a passion for a purpose. As leadership sets the example of what their values should look and feel like, employees will follow. The business will begin to thrive at this point with a like-minded goal filled with promise and purpose.

Any company worth its salt values talent retention and employee engagement. As a result, companies are recognizing the value of implementing purpose-driven work into the core of what they do.

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