5 Questions All Leaders Should Be Asking Their Teams
Career

5 Questions All Leaders Should Be Asking Their Teams

70% of employees say their purpose is related to their work.   People who feel their work has purpose are often more satisfied with their professional lives and loyal to companies who advocate for their own lives and careers.   They are 69% less likely to plan to quit their jobs within the next 6 […]

November 1st, 2023
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Abby.

Founder

A search expert making key hires for over twenty years.

70% of employees say their purpose is related to their work.

 

People who feel their work has purpose are often more satisfied with their professional lives and loyal to companies who advocate for their own lives and careers.

 

They are 69% less likely to plan to quit their jobs within the next 6 months, and 9 out of 10 are said to be open to trading a percentage of their salary for work that is purposeful to them.

 

Put simply, people care about what’s meaningful to them.

 

Let’s discuss.

 

 

Why purpose at work is more crucial than ever

 

The Industrial Revolution marked a period when work was primarily seen as a transaction. People completed their work in return for a salary that funded their livelihoods. Fast forward to today, with improved working conditions and a monthly salary becoming the standard, employees are looking for more.

 

Having a sense of purpose is shared across humanity and is crucial for our overall well-being and life satisfaction. Following such unprecedented circumstances, it is no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic prompted two-thirds of employees to truly reflect on their purpose and how their work fits into it.

 

Leaders looking to attract and retain the best talent need to focus on helping their teams find purpose in their work, and it can all start with a conversation.

 

Here’s how.

 

 

Breaking Down the Tasks We Do

 

Action Identification Theory states that there are different levels of meaning connected to our actions.

 

Say a thought leader was writing up an article about how to build a happy and healthy work culture:

 

  • On a low level, they would be typing words using their computer’s keyboard.
  • On a high level, they would be helping to create the leaders of tomorrow.

 

Leaders can use this to help their team find meaning in all their tasks, no matter how small or mundane. Employees are always looking for ways their everyday work can contribute to what they believe is their purpose, and you can help them to do this.

 

Senior partner at McKinsey, Aaron De Smet, emphasises that ‘people should be doing work that’s aligned with their interests and their talents’. This is ‘because alignment also creates meaning. If I feel like I’m using the best parts of me to make a contribution to whatever it is, I’m going to feel good about myself’.

 

Essentially, people want to do the work that will best play to their strengths and values.

 

Let’s explore five questions that tap into this.

 

 

5 Questions to Ask Your People

 

As a leadership search firm, we have insight into what today’s leaders are asking their employees to spark the conversation of purpose and how it is helping them to make connections in their work.

 

From this, we’ve gathered the top five most thought-provoking questions on purpose at work:

 

 

What do you enjoy?

 

Discovering what one enjoys helps people identify and rediscover what it is they love about the work they do.

 

Ask:

  • What do you look forward to doing the most at work?
  • What work energises you the most?

 

 

What are you good at?

 

Identifying what one does best helps to pinpoint strengths and the possibilities open to your team.

 

Ask:

  • What work do you take on when you feel you are the best person to do it?
  • What activities require the least amount of effort for you to complete?
  • What have others specifically noticed about your work during your career?

 

 

What tasks feel most useful?

 

Reflecting on the tasks your team feel are the most important highlights their value to them.

 

Ask:

  • What outcomes from a project make you the proudest?
  • What projects or activities do you have the most confidence in delivering desired outcomes?

 

 

How are you relating to others?

 

Reflecting on relationships with others helps your team see how they also make work meaningful.

 

Ask:

  • How has work enriched your family and social connections?
  • What do you value most about your work partnerships?

 

 

What is pushing you forward?

 

Identifying this helps your people see how the work they are doing today is moving them towards their goals.

 

Ask:

  • What do you see for yourself next?
  • What learning do you see yourself using in the future?
  • How is your work today helping you move closer to all of this?

 

 

Defining one’s purpose doesn’t happen overnight, but taking the time to consider these questions with your people is a good place to start.

 

From this, your team will begin to see how the work they are doing today is purposeful and contributing to their personal and professional goals.

 


 

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Looking to hire? Get in touch with one of our hiring experts.

 


 

To find out more about how to focus on your brand, get in touch today.
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Yellow Bricks is a female-owned and led executive search firm hiring predominately for software companies with diversity and inclusion at the heart of our offering. To learn more, click here.
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