The search for a clear and inspired purpose in our lives, or one’s Igikai, has been what humans have been searching for, for generations. It is increasingly evident that purpose plays an important role in the mental and physical health of employees and in the overall success of a company. As we become a more secular society, people are looking for purpose and meaning through their work lives, and we see a progressive shift in employees being less concerned with accomplishing a task, and about how their work seeks to accomplish a larger purpose. Let’s create High-Performance Work Culture using ‘Ikigai!’
Ikigai (pronounced ick-ee-guy) is your reason for waking up in the morning. There is no reason why our work should not provide meaning, create purpose, or nurture connections in our lives. Work that makes us enjoy, helps us perform well at our workplace Often, we seek that work-life balance because we deal with tasks that are not enjoyable and do not use our strengths, so we seek that sense of accomplishment elsewhere. By adopting an Igikai-based approach, companies can develop that purpose and community and see better organizational outcomes.
A Community known as the Okinawans have a strong social framework that gives them a sense of belonging and purpose within their community. Vroom also suggests that employees are engaged and that results in high performance when Organizational needs and employee needs to go hand-in-hand.
Create High-Performance Work Culture using ‘Ikigai’
The process of finding an organization’s purpose pretty much resembles that for an individual, after all, an organization is nothing but a collection of individuals with a common purpose. So we ask the same questions to finds one’s own Ikigai but using the lens of the organization.
What you are good at?
- What are we good at?
- What are the skills and talents we have?
- What do we have experience doing?
What does the world need?
- What things does the world (or the people that live in it) need?
- What are the problems to be solved?
What do you love?
- What do we like to do or experience?
- What are the things that make us happy?
Why do you get paid?
- What are the things with which we can earn money?
- Things we can do or create that can pay us?
This approach tries to achieve the following:
- The employee enjoys doing it and finds it fulfilling and purposeful.
- The employee is good at it (or wants to be good at it) and desires to develop the skills in this area on an ongoing basis.
- The company finds value in the activities and deliverables, which helps the organization to move forward in a productive way.
This process will be revisited from time to time, but this starts from the initial stage of talent acquisition. During this process, one must make sure to ask questions about strengths and developmental or growth desires of the candidate and see if it’s aligned with what does the company need right now.
- Start from the top to ensure the creation of a purposeful workplace where leaders must first strive to find and articulate theirs.
- Ensure that there is ample communication of this purpose.
- Decision making is anchored to this purpose
- Getting employee buy-in
More insights by Frederick Correa on Employability & Career Progression using Ikigai Ideology.
Cultivating a Purposeful Workforce!
While it is easy to overlook the notion of purpose, especially in the workplace environment, however, which aims to separate the average business from one that is successful, healthy and fast-growing. Understanding and appreciating one’s intent motivates workers to move up and beyond, positioning them in their well-being, and well-established organization in the future. The purpose for companies is not only to determine how they can improve the world but also to allow their workers to be proud and identify with the place where they work. There are multiple drivers that contribute to engagement at work, but one of the mandatory motivators is a sense of purpose. Thus, creating a High-Performance Work Culture using ‘Ikigai’ is an essential step for every corporate to consider. According to a study by Imperative, a purposeful employee can perform better across the board. They are more likely to rise to senior-level roles, to be net promoters of their organization, to stay longer, and to have strong relationships with their colleagues. Harness a purposeful workforce not just for the benefit of the employees, but also can hold a competitive advantage for the employers as well.