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What is the difference between purpose and meaning?

  • Written by Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends
  • Published in Webcasts
Purpose is about and for the organization. By the way, there is nothing wrong with that. We believe that companies going out there, and sharing, and celebrating their purpose are really providing inspiration to their workers. It can serve as a guide, it can serve as a framework. But what it doesn't do is address the day to day realities that the worker is facing in the workplace. That's where meaning comes into play. Meaning is humanistic. If purpose is about and for the organization, then meaning is about and for the individual. I now know as a leader that I need to do more than manage the people who work for me. I need to give them meaning in what they're doing every day. That may be through a discussion about their future career, and what skills they need to develop, and how we're going to apply learning to help them do that. It may be about giving them a sense of esteem, by giving them rewards that are personalized to them in the moment. It may be about talking about what their future holds, and how their job is going to evolve with all of this technology coming into work. Any one of these timeless human capital discussions can help motivate a worker. But when we tie to them personally and individually, that's when we translate it from purpose to actual meaning. Learn more in our 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report at https://deloi.tt/2yLDm6c.


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