Infusing Purpose into Performance

There are many headlines reminding us that Millennials are looking for purpose over paychecks, that they would accept a job at a decreased pay rate to work for a company that had socially responsible business practices. What you might not realize, however, is that Millennials aren’t the only ones who are purpose-driven when it comes to employment decisions. In fact, according to the 2016 Global Report on Purpose at Work, Baby Boomers are 48% more likely to prioritize purpose over pay or titles, compared to 38% of Gen Xers and 30% of Millennials. Surprised? It makes sense, and research consistently shows that as people age, they begin to think more about their contribution to society and what their impact will be. So how do property management companies help define and support purpose within their entire workforce?

1.     Define the target. Multifamily executives spend a lot of time each year defining strategic goals for their companies to ensure clear direction and support to achieve them. Defining purpose should be no different. Ensure your plans for cause work or giving back to the local community are aligned with the company’s core competencies and strategies. Not only will this alignment help your teams take pride in their industry and company, but having a common target, you’ll have strength in numbers. How great would it be to report at the end of the year, “Our teams collectively helped build 15 homes with Habitat for Humanity!”

2.     Provide the tools. People in multifamily have big hearts, and also big responsibility – whether at work, at home or with friends. Each team member has something that provides personal fulfillment, and it’s important to know what those things are. For some, it may be the personal satisfaction of fixing or repairing something with their hands. For others, it may be the joy in helping someone find their new home. For others, it may be supporting a team member in a successful project. When purpose becomes a part of the job and employees are provided with what they need in order to participate, amazing things happen.

3.     Recruit the talent. Look for candidates who are personally purpose driven. If purpose is a part of the corporate strategy, incorporate interview questions that emphasize the importance of a giving mentality. Encourage candidates to give examples of how they like to give back to the community, or what aspect of past work experiences were most fulfilling. Ask how important it is for them to work for a company that values corporate citizenship.

There are a variety of ways that individuals and groups can find purpose in their work, but in order for it to be successful and effective, there needs to be definition and structure.  Define purpose for your organization, define how each individual team member can support that purpose, and watch what happens!