Do you ever find yourself halfway through a task only to wonder why you are doing it? What is the point? If you remembered the point then I can almost guarantee that you quickly completed the task. However, if you never found a compelling reason then it is highly likely that you struggled to get through it. So, what does this tell you? That some of us are bored & distracted while others are productive & efficient? Maybe. Or does it tell us that it is much easier to be efficient if you know what your purpose is? The most driven people that I know have a clear sense of purpose and this allows them to find meaning & motivation in everything that they do. These are the people that you want on your team. If their sense of purpose matches with their company’s goals, then they will work hard to achieve them.
How can you interview for this? First, it is important that your company’s goals & values are readily available so that the potential employee can read them ahead of time. Next, have an open discussion about what it is that drives this person and how they think that their own goals match your company’s. If there is only a tenuous link between them then you know that it might not be a good fit. Also, be honest about how your company intends to achieve these goals as it is just as important that your methods line up as well as the outcome itself.
How can you instil a sense of purpose in your employees? Make sure that everyone contributing to a project understands what the end goal is and how their role will help the company to get there. Set out an overall purpose at the beginning of the project and don’t forget to remind everyone of what they are working towards throughout it. It can be tough to keep the motivation high, especially near the end of a long project, so make sure that you keep everyone’s attention focused on what you are trying to achieve. A fun way to do this is to celebrate the completion of each step as well as when the project is finished!
The difference between your most productive employee and your least productive employee might simply be that one knows the purpose of what they are doing and the other one hasn’t cottoned on yet. Take some time to share it with them and create a more purposeful, and therefore, a more productive workplace. Better yet, it is a very satisfying feeling to leave work at the end of the day knowing that you have made a significant contribution to the success of your company.