A sense of direction at work; knowing where you’re going, or at least what you’re aiming for, is a very important factor when it comes to what personally motivates people in business. You don’t walk around aimlessly in life, not having any idea where you’re headed day-to-day, do you? So it should be a given that you don’t do that at work either.

At thefuturestory’s most recent event, Sheila Parry introduced our engagement model - PRIDE, and we wrapped up the afternoon discussing each factor that makes up the model, one of them being direction. The idea is that when people know where they’re going, they work better and perhaps they’re even more emotionally invested in a company. This makes people feel pride, and raises their engagement. But does it? This is where it gets a little tricky.

The PRIDE model suggests that there isn’t just one perspective for businesses to consider here, there are three:

  1. Where your company is going
  2. Where your role is going
  3. Where you are in your life (which is the one most often overlooked)

We began our discussion by unanimously agreeing that organisations shouldn’t assume that their employees want exactly the same things as them, or each other. Though this may be hard to accept, it’s important to keep in mind. One person at the table reflected that although it’s clear where their company is going, it’s not clear if everyone is going in the same direction. Another admitted that their company had a ‘come with us or don’t’ attitude – so we began to think about how businesses can align those three perspectives and get everyone moving in the same direction:

  • Constantly reinforce rewards and values, and don’t be afraid to change them if necessary
  • Articulate goals and then plan how you’re going to get there together
  • Involve employees in your journey, why not co-create your strategy?
  • Be transparent and honest about where you’re going and you’ll gain trust

With so many millennials joining the workforce, companies are under even more pressure to continuously motivate, inspire and develop. We seem to be a generation that wants to be empowered, that needs to be recognised and that values a two-way conversation. So if there were ever a perfect time to shake things up and collaborate on the direction of your business, it’s now.

The three biggest words to come out of our discussion were: leadership, involvement and trust. With great leadership, an element of personal involvement in the direction of a company, and a lot of trust between employee and employer – you can most definitely align your company direction with company roles and personal directions. 

If you have enjoyed this blog post summarising the Direction table discussion at thefuturestory event, you will also like the following blogs written for the other elements of PRIDE. Check them out: Purpose, Reputation, Integrity and Energy.