The search for meaning and purpose is fundamentally human - Kathy Varol

The search for meaning and purpose is fundamentally human

employee disengagement

To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace.

To win in the workplace, you need to understand what employees today value.

The Global Pandemic sparked the Great Resignation. What each of us expects from our careers has changed. In order to attract, retain, and engage the best talent, you need to invite employees to be part of something meaningful. This is where purpose comes into play, and why it’s critical for your people and your company.

There’s a behavioral study from Yale that focused on hospital custodians. This study brings the power of purpose to life.

While the custodian’s job didn’t require them to interact with people, many of them considered their work to include doing whatever they could to help patients. They would try to make the patients laugh and put them at ease, and help family members navigate the hospital.

There was no financial incentive to do this “extra” work.

But the research found that it was this part of the job that gave the custodians meaning and purpose, making them want to get out of bed each morning.

It doesn’t matter if you’re the president or the custodian, people want their careers to be about more than just a paycheck. The truth is, it’s hard to have a meaningful life if you don’t have a meaningful career.

But somewhere along the way, we collectively took a wrong turn. We accepted the idea that the only role of a business is to make money (financial maximization), which means that the only meaning most of our careers will have is generating money for faceless shareholders.

Not a motivating reason to get out of bed each morning.

With the focus on financial maximization, purpose, meaning, and humanity were removed from the workplace. We ushered in burnout and disengagement to take their place.

Ironically, the standard practices that were adopted to support financial maximization actually damage business in the long term. From mass layoffs that decimate cultures and ruin employee morale to slashing research and development that damages the future potential of a company. In the past 60 years (since financial maximization became the global norm) the average lifespan of an S&P 500 company has plummeted from 61 years to less than 18 years today.

It’s no wonder that quiet quitting and employee disengagement are the norm, not the exception.

The cost of employee disengagement is enormous. Your employees are building the future of your company. You cannot win without them.

Through my keynotes, I teach businesses across industries how to put meaning back into the workplace and drive profit with purpose. My mission is to shift the standard operating model of business, so the norm is hyper-engaged employees with meaningful careers.

The norm should be hospital custodians who show up every day to help patients and their families.
The norm should be a career you feel proud to tell your family about.
The norm should be spending your days and your career making the world better because you existed.
The norm should be business success defined by the  impact you’ll have on the next generation.

When you tap into someone’s intrinsic desire to make a difference, you unleash a force more powerful than anything found in a traditional business model. Bring me in to learn how. Email me if you’d like me to speak at your company or conference.

Here’s what a few others had to say about my keynotes:

  • “I’ve been to a lot of these conferences over the years and Kathy was by far my favorite speaker.” – Jeremy Cullifer, CGA Strategic Conference
  • “Impactful and high-energy presentation!” – Adrian Carr, CEO Stibo Systems
  • “Wow! Very inspiring.” – CityCurrent


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