Finding meaning in your work isn’t a concern only for younger generations. A recent study done by the IBM Institute for Business Value looked at career goals for Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers and found an incredible amount of overlap amongst the generations. While many people believe that finding your passion at work is a new and somewhat overly-idealistic view, the fact is that a large chunk of entrepreneurs, executives, and rising employees are making purpose and passion their top priorities.
The study found that 25% of Millennials want to make a positive impact on their organizations. This figure was mirrored by 21% of Gen Xers and 23% of Baby Boomers. Likewise, 22% of Millennials want to help solve social and/or environmental challenges, and the same is true for 20% of Gen Xers and 24% of Baby Boomers. Across the board, 18% of each generation say that becoming a senior leader is one of their top career goals.
The study also looked at factors that cause employees to be most engaged at work, and each generation responded in similar ways. Baby Boomers and Millennials, for example, both feel that a clearly articulated vision and/or business strategy is vitally important. All three categories placed an emphasis on inspirational leadership, and all three categories also valued performance-based recognition and promotions.
For hiring managers, this shows that every generation of workers is focused on finding purpose at work, which means that a top priority of any business should be making it clear what their purpose is. Companies that don’t have strong mission statements and corporate visions lack direction and goals. Emphasis ends up placed simply on the bottom line rather than on trying to foster innovation, break boundaries, or provide an exceptional service.
By figuring out what your organization is passionate about, you can then communicate that vision to potential employees, helping everyone in your company feel more engaged with and connected to the work you’re doing. Using employee assessments, you can look for people who feel strongly about the work you do and match them to careers that suit their personalities and values. This will not only help foster loyalty amongst your workforce but also improve output.
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