Purpose at Work Predicts if Employees Will Stay or Quit Their Jobs

ROULA AMIRE

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In a Gartner article revealing how workplaces will change over the next decade, it describes the future direction of a workplace may be one where employees will work for purpose and passion, not just money.

An article taken from our 2021 insights report uncovers that a sense of purpose is one key aspect of employee well-being at work. This refers to employees experiencing fulfilment, meaning, and progress at work.

Research found that people who have a strong sense of purpose tend to be more resilient and exhibit better recovery from negative events. Ensuring that employees feel a sense of purpose in their work has become a business imperative.

Senior leaders struggling with retention issues and employees walking out the door have more in common than one might think. They’re both in search of answers.

Employees are reevaluating the meaning their jobs give them—”How does what I do here matter?” “What is my purpose?” “Why am I doing the work I’m doing?”—while CEOs are trying to figure out how to stop their people from leaving.

Leaders often look to money or extra vacation days as solutions when they should prioritize giving workers what they need and want—a sense of purpose at work.

When employees understand that their work matters and their purpose is aligned with that of their company, good things happen. They’re loyal, engaged, and proud of their company—all signs of a great workplace.

If you want to know your employees’ commitment to their jobs, don’t ask them if their salaries are fair, ask about purpose and connection.

Research from us at Great Place to Work® indicates the following three questions will predict workplace turnover, regardless of generation or job type:

  1. Are you proud of where you work?
  2. Do you find meaning in your work?
  3. Do you have fun at work?

If an employee answers “no” to any of those questions, they’re probably going to leave their company. Why?

People want to spend their time in meaningful ways. Purpose is the way you make a difference in the world. It’s why you matter. All humans seek purpose, and employees are emboldened more than ever to go find it.

When employees can connect the dots between their day-to-day tasks with the organization’s mission and strategy, and understand how their individual contributions support progress toward its purpose, they are more likely to feel a sense of purpose at work. Compared with SG Average companies, almost 9 in 10 employees among SG Best companies feel that they make a difference and that their work has special meaning.

2021 Singapore Insights Report

“For me, purpose transcends P&L’s, balance sheets and EBITDA calculations,” says Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work.

“It’s the reason why we spend so much time away from our families to do this thing called ‘work.’ It’s the reason why we are late for soccer games, family dinners, birthday parties, parental visits, daycare pick-ups, vet appointments, and so on. Purpose is also the reason why we sometimes question our priorities and life choices.”

Purpose-driven cultures outperform others

You’ll be hard pressed to find a leader who says purpose doesn’t matter. But you’ll be equally hard pressed to find leaders who treat purpose as a business imperative—unless you’re one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2022, where purpose is prioritized.

Leaders at great workplaces understand that purpose is not found in a mission statement buried in an employee handbook. Rather, they actively help employees connect what they do with the company’s purpose.

And when purpose at work also aligns with an employee’s personal purpose—which is to do much more than just work, but grow, learn, take care of their family and community—they will be more engaged and motivated. That’s the sweet spot you want all employees to achieve.

Employees need to feel appreciated by their managers and see that their work makes a difference. Purpose must be coupled with clarity.

Harvard Business School (HBS) researchers, using Great Place to Work’s extensive database, found that companies whose employees feel a sense of purpose at work and believe their leaders set clear direction and expectation, outperform the stock market by 6.9%.

HBS reported even greater returns when middle managers and individual contributors experience purpose and clarity.

Purpose is also a key driver of employee well-being, which currently is in short supply. Respondents to a survey of more than 14,000 people from 37 countries from Great Place to Work and Johns Hopkins University’s Carey Business School consistently experienced significant gaps in purpose and connection—two areas needed to flourish at work.

Purpose also impacts innovation. Great Place to Work research discovered that a barrier to innovation has to do with front-line workers experiencing much less purpose than others. And if employees feel they’re not sharing in the company’s mission and excitement, they quickly feel excluded from innovation as well.

More organizations in Singapore are transitioning to a hybrid workplace as the new normal. SG Best companies have demonstrated a purpose-driven, people-first mindset—they have built a high-trust culture, engaged their employees and maximized their potential to facilitate innovation. This differentiates them from their competitors and primes them to be powerful magnets for top talent.

2021 Singapore Insights Report

Workplace expectations have changed. People want meaning in their jobs, and a lack of it will send them out the door. Don’t waste your time trying to match your competitor’s benefits package to attract new talent.

Spend time purposely connecting your mission with employees’ jobs and you’ll create a culture employees will not want to leave.

Show job seekers your workplace has purpose

Great Place to Work Certification™ recognizes employers who create an outstanding employee experience. Certification shows job seekers and customers that you have a clear social purpose and reinforces your company’s values. Learn how to become a Great Place to Work-Certified™ company today.

 

ROULA AMIRE

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Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying 2.1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting 5.9 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Bahrain, Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2022 or early 2023.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000+) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying over 1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting over 4.7 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2021 or early 2022.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Singapore 2023 Evaluation Methodology

This year, Great Place To Work® Singapore is proud to launch our inaugural Singapore Best Workplaces™ in Healthcare & Biopharma List. This list recognizes exemplary companies in the healthcare & biopharma industry.

Recognized as a global hub for medical technology and research, Singapore has attracted top healthcare and biopharma talents and companies from around the world. It has become the center for essential healthcare services and innovations with its world-class research institutes, academic medical centers, and industry clusters.

In turn, the healthcare and biopharma sectors play a critical role in the country’s economic competitiveness, sustainability, and innovation. These industries have significantly helped in the overall improvement of public health and well-being of the people of Singapore and its neighboring countries.

The inaugural Singapore Best Workplaces in Healthcare and Biopharma List puts the spotlight on the organizations that are dedicated to providing employee satisfaction and engagement, and their commitment to excellence in the industry.

The companies in our Great Place To Work Certified™ community have the premier distinction that helps attract the best talent, build your employer brand, and secure a competitive advantage. To achieve this, they built a working environment that is purpose-driven and people-first. These companies have demonstrated that showing authentic care, prioritizing employee’s holistic well-being, and building a culture of trust go hand in hand with growth and success.

To determine the 2023 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Healthcare and Biopharma, Great Place to Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore.Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place to Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place to Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry.The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced.To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place to Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place to Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Singapore 2023 Evaluation Methodology

To determine the 2023 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Technology, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry. The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category.

Methodology

This year, Great Place To Work™ Singapore is proud to launch our inaugural Singapore Best Workplaces in Technology List. This List recognizes exemplary companies in the information and communication technologies industry in four categories:

  • Micro category (10–29 employees)
  • Small (30-99 employees)
  • Medium (100-999 employees)
  • Large (> 1000 employees)

With Singapore’s ambition to be recognized as a regional technology hub, the influx of technology firms (around 80 of the world’s top 100 technology firms have a presence here) and global rankings that place us a leading technology hub outside of San Francisco, the establishment of a Singapore Best Workplaces List in Technology is indeed a timely and needed one. Technology firms in Singapore are characterized by hyper-growth and ambitious expansion plans. This means a continuous war for talent in a highly competitive and rapidly evolving industry.

To maintain our lead as a technology and innovation hub, the ability to attract, retain and sustain skilled talent is critical. We are proud that companies in our Great Place To Work®-Certified community List have built a high-trust culture, engaged employees and maximized their potential to facilitate innovation. They are purpose-driven and adopt a people-first mindset. These are companies that have shown that authentic care and employee well-being need not be compromised for ambitious growth, and that it is possible for businesses to scale up quickly and responsibly. Their culture and core values are embodied in every individual—from senior leadership to rank-and-file employees—and differentiate them from their competitors, priming them to be powerful magnets for top talent.

To determine the 2022 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Technology, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore.Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry.The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category

 

Methodology

To determine the 2022 Singapore’s Best Workplaces™️, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing close to 70,000 employees across different industries in Singapore. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place to Work For All™️. 85% of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do.

Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical in their industry. The remaining 15% of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Companies with 10-29 people were considered for the Micro category; those with 30 to 99 people for the Small category; companies with 100 to 999 employees were considered for the Medium category; and those with 1,000 or more for the Large category.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Singapore 2023 Evaluation Methodology

To determine the 2023 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Technology, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry. The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category