Why do I work here?

By Rick Cole September 23, 2023 Employee Communication Featured

“Why am I here?” might be a bit existential for our Ideas page. However, “Why do I work here?” is a critical question for everyone engaged in employee communication.

It’s also a question a lot of employees are asking these days:

  • Employee turnover is at an all-time high.
  • Millions of Baby Boomers have left the workforce.
  • The job market remains extremely tight.
  • Media are reporting resistance to back-to-office initiatives. 
  • Social media highlight and distort employee dissatisfaction. 

In tumultuous times like these, questioning one’s job/career choices makes sense. Even in the best of times, it’s healthy for employees to periodically review their career track and job satisfaction. 

“Why do I work here?” is a question that can lead to an employee’s sense of purpose, commitment and growth. Research has shown that a sense of purpose can be linked to traits found in the best employees—resilience, initiative and engagement. It’s also a question employees often can’t answer without input from their leaders.  

Note: Higher rates of engagement and purpose are usually found in upper-level executives, who have a bird’s eye view into the organization’s purpose and progress. Sharing that view and connecting the employee’s role to it on an ongoing basis is critical. 

Without understanding this connection between their role and the organization’s purpose and progress, it’s nearly impossible for an employee to answer the question “Why do I work here?” satisfactorily.    

That’s why every employee needs to hear clearly and frequently about:

  •  The organization’s defined and declared purpose.
  • What progress is being made toward the organization’s purpose.
  • How their role helps achieve the organization’s purpose.

Without good, ongoing information tying the first two bullets to the third, the employee is left to surmise the value of their role based on various implications and speculations. 

With such under-informed calculations, it’s often too easy for the employee to view a job change as greener pastures. An employee who understands their role within the organization’s purpose, and the organization’s purpose within the world, is better equipped to realistically evaluate alternative situations, such as a job change or even retirement.

They’re also better equipped to create their own unique and personal sense of purpose and happiness within their current organization.  

Smith is here to help with your employee communications. It’s what we do.