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Purpose has the Power to Increase Employee Engagement

Clearly articulating your organization’s purpose increases engagement and performance
By: Andrew Scott
July 11th, 2017

Purpose frames the foundation for success.

Purpose is a key driver of performance and employee engagement.  It’s what compels organizations and people to do what they do because the value of the outcome outweighs everything else.

It’s is no secret that organizations and their employees see the importance of purpose in the workplace. Recognizing the importance of purpose is one thing, but underestimating the power of it is another.

Purpose in the workplace results in business success

Purpose is vital to an organization’s sustainability and performance. In general, it gives a reason for existence. In a workplace, it’s how the organization can make a positive contribution to society and is the reason an organization exists.

Purpose serves as the guiding force which all of our business decisions are rooted. If your organization is truly purpose-driven, purpose is used to determine what opportunities to pursue and not pursue.

“An organization’s purpose is not to serve those who rule; it exists to serve all stakeholders.” – Dan Pontrefact, The Purpose Effect

We all know the success of organizations relies on market value and profitability, but relying only on these business aspects alone could be detrimental to long-term success.

Emphasizing purpose rather than profits has been shown to generate stakeholder confidence in organizations, drive investment, and create sustainable success.1 Research shows annual growth can be attributed to purpose.

Compared to their counterparts, purpose-drive organizations are more likely to experience significant year-over-year growth.2

Much of a business’s success can be credited to consumers. Consumers have changed how and where they spend their money. They also express stronger loyalty to businesses that clearly state and support a greater socially responsible mission.3

Success can also be attributed to a more engaged workforce.  Nearly three quarters (73%) of employees who work for a purpose-driven organization are engaged compared to less than a quarter (23%) of employees at non-purpose-driven organizations.1 When employees are engaged, they are more productive and profitable.5

A clearly defined and articulated organizational purpose is what energizes, motivates, and inspires employees to move forward!

Employees and Purpose

Our workforce is changing. More and more individuals are looking for greater meaning in their personal lives and in their work life.

Having a sense of purpose in the workplace, where a majority of individuals spend their awake hours, is essential to individuals’ overall purpose in life. This is shifting the way leaders are thinking about employee recruitment, retention, and ongoing engagement.

Even if employees don’t always enjoy the work they do, with purpose, they understand and value the impact they have on society through the work they are doing. Employees see purpose as a way to bring meaning to their work and to understand how they are having an impact not only in the workplace but also in the community.

Having purpose unlocks higher potential in employees.

Employees that feel they are working toward a good cause have a 30% increase in productivity.

Purpose helps employees know what and why they do the work they do, which keeps them engaged. But more than that, they need leaders to be fully dedicated to the purpose of their organization.4

When employees feel they are working for a purpose-driven organization, they are 3x more likely to be engaged! Employees feel proud to be identified with an organization that has a meaningful impact on society.

Purpose in the workplaces fosters passion, enthusiasm and employee engagement all of which have an important influence on well-being.  Researchers from the University of Michigan found that people with greater senses of purpose in life were more likely to practice better health behaviors and report greater mental and physical health.6

Thrive in Five to Achieve Purpose

There are many ways to achieve purpose; however, there is a distinct connection between five key elements within purpose.

  1. Define/redefine the organization’s purpose
  2. Cultivate an environment to promote a personal sense of purpose
  3. Establish role-based purpose
  4. Encourage a ‘give-back culture’
  5. Create a buzz/Achieve the sweet spot

To experience growth, define your purpose and in so doing, increase employee engagement, improve health and productivity.

For more information about P5 Performance™, find us on LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
We can also be contacted at 4141 28th Ave S, Fargo, ND 58104 | (701) 271-0263


  1. Deloitte. (2014). Culture of purpose - building business confidence; driving growth 2014 core beliefs and culture survey. Deloitte Development, LLC. Retrieved from
  2. HBR. (2015). The business case for purpose. Harvard Business Review Analytic Services. Retrieved from$FILE/ey-the-business-case-for-purpose.pdf
  3. Alexander, A. (2015). The power of purpose: How organizations are making work more meaningful. Northwestern University – Schools of Education and Social Policy. Retrieved from
  4. Gallup. (2017). State of the American workplace.
  5. Schuyler, S. & Brennan, A. (2016). Putting purpose to work: A study of purpose in the workplace. PWC. Retrieved from
  6. Kim, E.S., Strecher, V.J., & Ryff, C.D. (2014). Purpose in life and use of preventive health care services. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(46), 16331-6. Retrieved from
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