Finding Our Why: True Purpose Discovery


by Samantha Guidry

They say when you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Punch-in, punch-out. Do your time then go home. Sound familiar? This robotic system of just going through the motions within the corporate world is all too familiar. Look, we all know money is a primary driver in our work. But the truth is, no matter how many raises or yearly increases you get, having a lack of intuitive meaning in your work is a void that not even bread can fill. So, let me ask you this. Have you found your “why?” Knowing your higher purpose, or your “why,” in and out of the workplace helps define your ambitions and connects you to like-minded individuals working toward similar goals. At VSE, we are on a journey to discover our individual purposes and our business’s “why” around the work we do as a team and the way we impact the world. 

How do we do this as an organization? With the guidance of The True Purpose Institute, the support of certified True Purpose Coaches, and transformational workshops that integrate meditation and connection to your intuition. We’re working to discover the four key elements that make up the true purpose of VSE: Essence, our being or truth, impact, the way we change the world, mission, our task as an organization, and lastly, message, the wisdom we bring to the world. By uniting these four components, we then have a higher purpose. Our goal is to define a higher purpose statement that drives our business strategy and fosters employee clarity, direction, and fulfillment in our day-to-day work. 

Research Findings. Being a data-driven organization, we wanted to understand the value of purpose in the workplace. Why would VSE and other global business leaders alike invest in this type of program? Here are just a few findings that stood out:

  1. Career Fulfillment According to Imperative’s 2015 Workforce Purpose Index, purpose-oriented employees experience 64% higher levels of fulfillment in their work. 
  1. Job Satisfaction.  Imperative / NYU, 2015 Found that purpose is correlated to a 50% greater likelihood of having meaningful relationships at work.
  1. Good for humankind. In a 2016 report from EY, there are five ways purpose enable success, including “purpose taps a universal need.” Human nature desires to belong, and many people feel a need to contribute to society’s greater good. Purpose paints a bigger picture and contributes to the betterment of humankind. A Nielson global retail analysis found that 55% of online global consumers are willing to pay more for a product backed by a higher purpose.  
  1. Employee Retention. A research study on LinkedIn found that purpose-oriented employees are 54% more likely to stay at the company for 5+ years. 
  1. Making the right connections. According to the Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index, a higher purpose helps people connect with others with similar interests and sustain relationships that support personal success.

So, you’re probably wondering if we’ve found our organizational “why”? And the answer is we’re close, but we’re not there yet. 

Great things take time. An important lesson we’ve learned is that finding purpose is a process that takes time, patience, and an open mind. We began our journey in 2019 and continue to work towards establishing a purpose statement that deeply resonates among all VSE employees. As we move forward, our goal is that our business culture energizes both personal (yep, we’re discovering ourselves too!) and organizational purpose statements. We hope that all employees find fulfillment and deeper meaning to work they do inside and out of VSE. 

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