When there’s nothing to rally around

Being a parent is often a frustrating, thankless job. There are sleepless nights with infants; tantrums with toddlers; door slamming with sullen teenagers; and the constant worry that never leaves, even when the kids have.

Yet, many people don’t just relish this job, they make it even harder with additional children. The majority say it’s the most fulfilling aspect of their lives, even when research shows us people with children are often less happy (and considerably lighter in their wallets) than those without kids.

So why do people do it?

Because it provides them with a strong sense of purpose. It gives their lives meaning. So they put up with the stress, late hours, grumpy co-worker, and tyrant bosses. Because in the end, they feel like they’ve made a difference in the world. They feel like they’ve left something of themselves behind in their children. The small moments of pride and joy make it all seem worthwhile. It’s this purpose that allows them to be pulling their hair out one moment, and having their heart melt the next.

What if you had this level of commitment in your organization? What if people put in the same effort, energy, patience and care into their work as they do for their families?

It is possible. You just need to show people how their hard work contributes to a clear purpose they can identify with. People need to see what makes it all worthwhile to them beyond just the paycheque at the end of the week.

People need to feel a sense of pride and joy, like they’ve made a difference, and left a bit of themselves behind.

If you can give people this sense of purpose, they’ll stick with you through thick and thin.