News & Insights
2 minutes

Why Meaning Matters

A group of people enjoying a leisurely ride on paddle boats in a serene body of water

Today’s employee expects more than just a paycheck for their work. While competitive compensation is a given, especially in the current climate of pandemic talent wars, there’s something else compelling employees to either stay where they are or jump ship. What’s driving this Great Resignation we’re all hearing about? I’ll give you a hint: It’s about meaning, not money.

Employees crave meaning in their work. Does what I do matter? Is it serving a greater good? Am I contributing to more than just productivity and the bottom line? Does my company have a purpose beyond making money? These are all questions employees are asking themselves, and if they aren’t finding the answers within your organization, there’s a good chance they’re looking for them elsewhere.

A recent piece published by Deloitte indicates multiple companies are elevating purpose and meaning as a strategic priority rather than just an aspiration. And in a recent article published by the same firm titled: Purpose – A Beacon for Growth, it’s clear that many organizations are redefining why they exist beyond profit.

A clear purpose drives meaning. And at Marketwave, as well as at the client companies we work with, we’ve seen purpose be an attraction model for top talent, and more importantly, long-term retention which allows teams to build momentum, innovate and hit their stride together.

One Dallas-based brand that shows us what purpose looks like in action is Southwest Airlines. They set out to democratize the skies and make air travel affordable for all, while maintaining great service and a simple delivery model. Across the organization, Southwest employees gain meaning from the satisfaction of providing great customer service to all passengers – not just the first-class, frequent flyer or premium traveler that other airlines may pay attention to. Their purpose and mission is rooted in the simple fact that every customer deserves an elevated flying experience, and ultimately, this purpose makes them the airline of choice for top talent, and has delivered an impressive 96% employee retention rate, year over year.

As we emerge from the pandemic times we’ve all been navigating for far too long, companies that define and amplify their purpose will be the ones that connect employees to meaningful work, and deliver a level of job satisfaction that is a force shield against those inevitable recruiter inquiries that are hitting your team’s LinkedIn messages on the regular. Meaning matters. Do your employees know what you stand for?