• DATE January 14, 2015
  • URL oneinstitute.com/tile/generation-flux/

Generation Flux

Why passion and purpose belong in the workplace, now more than ever

In a recent article in Fast Company called “Generation Flux’s Secret Weapon,” Robert Safian explores the dynamics that underpin our era of rapid change, focused particularly on the impact that uncertain times have on workplaces. “In this age of flux, people’s sense of connection with their workplace has been declining,” he writes.

But people want to feel engaged in their work, and it would seem that companies — focused as they are on productivity and profitability — would want the same thing. So why are levels of workplace satisfaction and loyalty so low?

Safian cites “motivation expert” Marcelo Cardoso, whose studies have found that many workplace contracts today are characterized by “transactional relationships” in which “bonuses, stock options, and other compensation bind the two together.” Cardoso’s research suggests that among Millennials especially, however, workers are increasingly motivated by a sense of mission, purpose, and meaning in their work — not merely higher levels financial compensation. Safian goes on:

We should, of course, stop for a moment to acknowledge that choosing a career built around meaning is not a choice available to billions of people who are desperately struggling just to make enough money to find shelter and put food on the table. That is often the only “mission” that matters. But for those who have been fortunate enough to look beyond their basic needs, the motivation to do more, create more, and, yes, give more to the world—whether that is burritos or iPhones—arises directly from the personal meaning we derive from those activities. That is the way humans operate. We are not drones whose only goal is to make more money. Keeping passion out of the workplace makes no sense at all.

You can read the full article at Fast Company