Sense of Purpose: More than “Just a Job”

PAMELA SNG

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PAMELA SNG

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A sense of purpose refers to experiencing fulfilment, meaning and progress at work. In a research study conducted by Great Place to Work® in partnership with Johns Hopkins University on How to Promote Employee Well-being in the Workplace: Global Study, sense of purpose was identified as one of the key aspects of employee well-being.

Organizations need to become workplaces where people want to work because they are driven by a sense of purpose.1 When employees can connect the dots between their day-to-day tasks at work 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. When the organization’s purpose coincides with making a positive impact on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues, employees are more likely to resonate with it and feel more strongly about it2; this is especially so among Gen Z and Millennials who are driving a generational paradigm shift in workplaces today3.

Furthermore, a research study by McKinsey found that people who have a strong sense of purpose tend to be more resilient and exhibit better recovery from negative events; those who say they are “living their purpose” at work reported levels of well-being that are five times higher than those who say they aren’t, and those in the former group are four times more likely to report higher engagement levels4.

As companies in Singapore brace themselves for The Great Resignation or Great Reshuffling that is already happening globally, and grapple with engaging their employees in a remote/hybrid workplace, ensuring that employees feel a sense of purpose in their work has become more important than ever. Compared with the average company in Singapore (“SG Average”)5 almost 9 in 10 employees among the 2021 Singapore Best Workplaces™ (“SG Best”) feel that they make a difference and that their work has special meaning.

 

  • Insight Singapore aims to build meaningful connections to help businesses run smarter through its end-to-end technology solutions. To ensure understanding and alignment of its purpose, it rolled out its annual strategy kick-off event through a combination of videos, live presentations, as well as client and teammate stories, in small bites over the course of a week. Employees were also given the opportunity to hear directly from the senior leaders and ask questions. Subsequently, individual goals were set in line with organizational objectives and regular feedback was provided during quarterly 1-1 connection meetings, to review and update these goals and ensure on-going alignment.
  • Endowus’ mission is to help people invest better so that they can live easier today, and better tomorrow. Its leadership team emphasizes openness and transparency in all major business and strategic decisions, and no ideas are sacrosanct. Leaders constantly solicit views from every employee, and provide an anonymous platform where employees can ask any question without fear of reprisals. To ensure understanding and alignment, its strategic direction and goals are clearly and regularly communicated at team events. It also creates a culture of participation where employees are encouraged to question and challenge the strategic direction. These discussions refine and flesh out ideas, and even generate new ideas through brainstorming.
  • Ingram Micro aims to have the right people, in the right place, at the right time, doing the right things the right way, supporting its One Ingram Micro Mindset. It aligns HR action plans with overall business priorities and focuses on business leadership to aid the execution of its business priorities. It customizes programs for different levels of managers from Team Leads to Executives, to ensure that they are able to guide and support every employee, drive a common purpose and ensure their well-being.
  • Medtronic’s mission is to contribute to human welfare by application of biomedical engineering in the research, design, manufacture, and sale of instruments or appliances that alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life. To enable employees to recognize and honor the impact that their work has on patients, it begins every holiday season with the Medtronic Employee Holiday Program. Patients from across APAC share their personal stories on how a Medtronic device or therapy has impacted their lives, and enables employees to see for themselves how their work has contributed to its mission. These patients are often joined alongside the Medtronic employees who supported them along their journeys, sharing the contributions of the broader teams working behind the scenes.

 

Together with other key aspects that contribute to holistic well-being at work (Mental and Emotional Support, Personal Support, Financial Health, and Meaningful Connections), a Sense of Purpose is critical to attract, retain and sustain great talent.

Technology and the internet have enabled greater cross-border collaboration and global connectivity; compounded with increased talent mobility and the ability to perform work remotely, the competition for talent has grown tremendously. SG Best companies are purpose-driven and adopt a people-first mindset—they have built a high-trust culture, engaged employees and maximized their potential to facilitate innovation. This differentiates them from their competitors and primes them to be powerful magnets for top talent.

 

Take your first step to becoming an SG Best Workplace today.  Click here to find out more.

 

1. The future of work is about thriving in unpredictability, The Business Times, 5 November 2021.

2. Beyond compliance: Consumers and employees want business to do more on ESG: How business can close the expectations gap, PwC, accessed on 21 January 2022.

3. Workforce Strategy: How ESG Can Help Companies Retain Younger Employees, Impactivate®, 23 December 2021.

4. Igniting individual purpose in times of crisis, McKinsey Quarterly, McKinsey & Company, 18 August 2020.Igniting individual purpose in times of crisis, McKinsey Quarterly, McKinsey & Company, 18 August 2020.

5. “SG Average” refers to responses of the average employee in Singapore who participated in a commissioned research study.

This article is the fifth in a series on Employee Well-Being. Read the other articles in this series:
  1. Meaningful Connections: The Ties that Bind – Great Place To Work Singapore (greatplacetoworkasia.com)
  2. Authentic Care: Going Beyond Employee Benefits – Great Place To Work Singapore (greatplacetoworkasia.com)
  3. A Cut Above the Rest: What Differentiates the 2021 Singapore Best Workplaces™️ from the Rest? – Great Place To Work Singapore (greatplacetoworkasia.com)
  4. How to Promote Employee Well-being in the Workplace: Global Study – Great Place To Work Singapore (greatplacetoworkasia.com)

 

PAMELA SNG

Pamela is our Senior Consultant and Research Lead for Great Place to Work® ASEAN and ANZ. She has over two decades of consulting and policy experience helping organizations in their journey to become fair and progressive employers. She believes that every organization has the potential to be a great workplace, and works with data to distil insights and develop resources to help them. When she’s not burrowing down the rabbit hole of numbers and words, she’s probably immersed in a new K-drama or catching up with friends over a virtual drinks session.

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