What is one important question to ask your employees to help find their inner purpose?
To help you align your employees’ inner purpose with their work, we asked CEOs and people leaders this question for their best recommendations. There are several thought-provoking and work-appropriate questions that you can ask to get to know your employees better and boost morale by helping align their roles with their inner purpose.
Here are 13 questions to ask your employees to help find their inner purpose:
- Is This The Kind of Work You Would do in Another Country Where You Don’t Speak The Language?
- What Instills a Sense of Forward Momentum in You?
- Are You Challenged?
- What Would You Do if Money Wasn’t the Objective?
- How Do You Interact With Other People?
- What Are You Going to Do Today to Take Care of Yourself?
- What New Skills Would You Like to Learn?
- What Do You Enjoy?
- If You Had 48 Hours to Live, What Would You Have Wanted to Leave as a Legacy?
- What Do You Wish You Were Doing When You’re Bored?
- What is Your Communication Style?
- Can You Name One Activity That Makes You Feel The Most Alive?
- What is Your Holistic Self?
Is This The Kind of Work You Would do in Another Country Where You Don’t Speak The Language?
Is this the kind of work you would do in another country where you don’t speak the language? It is easy to fall into a line of work that feels comfortable and sits well with who you are. But comfort, often, masks as purpose. Discomfort can be a direct guide toward inner purpose. When faced with the prospect of having to be uncomfortable, the road to purpose becomes a lot clearer.
Lee Meadows, Consultant, Meadows Consulting
What Instills a Sense of Forward Momentum in You?
“What instills a sense of forward momentum in you?” is a great question to ask an employee looking for purpose. Finding excitement and drive in life is critical to looking forward to tomorrow. Sometimes we can forget what is already working in the pursuit of happiness, but both are crucial to becoming your best self. When you know what works and what feels good together, there is no better feeling.
Kevin Callahan, Co-Founder & CEO, Flatline Van Co.
Are You Challenged?
Not everything in life needs to be a challenge but everyone needs to flex their muscles, metaphorically, now and again. If employees don’t find any challenge in their work, then they may be finding it elsewhere. this arrangement can be fine for many people, but there are some who want a job that stimulates them in some capacity. Find out if your employees feel challenged by their job. Ask them if they’d like more challenge in their role, or whether or not they’re comfortable where they are.
If you’re able, you may be able to provide a bit more challenge for employees that don’t feel like they get enough. If not you may have given someone the perspective to consider whether or not their job gives them purpose and if they need to look elsewhere to find it.
Soji James, Life Expert Certified Personal Trainer, 1AND1 Life
What Would You Do if Money Wasn’t the Objective?
An important part of an individual’s purpose is undeniably the driving force behind it. If that force is money, then you’re likely to feel uninspired and demotivated sooner or later. This is why a good practice to evaluate your true purpose is by removing money from the equation and seeing what appeals to you. You may encounter a list of things that you can then shortlist to zero in on what you believe could be your purpose.
How Do You Interact With Other People?
Which collaborative endeavors will benefit you the most? What would the atmosphere be like if your favorite individuals all worked together? How does your work improve your relationships with your family and other people? These questions provoke people to reflect on the relationships that make their work more meaningful and motivate them to cultivate those relationships.
Steve Pogson, Founder and E-commerce Strategy Lead, FirstPier
What Are You Going to Do Today to Take Care of Yourself?
This question shows a vested interest in the well-being of your employees, but it also challenges them to prioritize their own well-being, growth, and development. Furthermore, your employees’ feedback to this question is a great way to get to know a little more about what they value, build trust and goodwill, and possibly help discover solutions to certain things that may be ailing them at or outside of work.
Inquiring about their intentions and holding your employees accountable to take care of themselves (mental, physical, and emotional well-being), is a great way to pick their brains and ultimately help them find their inner purpose.
Natalia Morozova, Partner, Cohen, Tucker & Ades P.C.
What New Skills Would You Like to Learn?
To help an employee find the right path, it’s important to understand the skills they’d like to learn. This can help indicate the type of role that they may want to move into in time. Employees who are given growth opportunities are much more likely to stay with your company in the long run, and this can be imperative in the current business environment.
Victor Mathieux, Co-Founder & CEO, Miracle Brand
What Do You Enjoy?
I believe one important question to ask your employees to help them find their inner purpose is “What do you enjoy?” An employee’s answer may surprise you and you may find that they would be better suited in another department or taking on additional responsibilities. If you can find what they enjoy, this will help them find their inner purpose at work.
Lindsey Hight, HR Professional, Sporting Smiles
If You Had 48 Hours to Live, What Would You Have Wanted to Leave as a Legacy?
You are either seated at a table in the break room or peering at your employees through a Zoom camera. You can sense their apprehension, tension, or—even worse—apathy. But like you, they have been on a lifelong journey to find and explore their inner purpose, and you want to guide rather than command them to proceed in the right direction.
Compassionate managers often approach this scene with a heightened sense of duty, asking themselves: how do I provide the leadership my employees need? But prepare for a mind-blowing suggestion: Don’t bother searching for the answer. Instead, pose the right question.
“If you had only 48 hours to live, what would you have wanted to leave as a legacy that brought you happiness and made an important and positive difference in your family and community life?”
They need not answer immediately—it will require some thought—but your question will start the emotional vehicle that will eventually carry them to their desired heartfelt destination.
Terise Lang, Health and Wellness Coach, Speaker, and Writer, Terise Lang Writes
What Do You Wish You Were Doing When You’re Bored?
One question I find valuable for this is “When you’re doing a task that bores you at work, what do you wish you were doing instead?” This angle can be more effective than simply asking things like “What are you passionate about?” or “What is your dream job?” For one thing, many employees who don’t know their inner purpose struggle to answer those questions, too, but shifting the way they think about it can help. This question also keeps the focus on the workplace so they’re thinking about their purpose and passions from a career perspective, rather than their family, friends, hobbies, and other interests from other aspects of their life.
Matt Erhard, Managing Partner, Summit Search Group
What is Your Communication Style?
Once an employee has successfully identified their communication style, they can use their strengths, and quirks to help them find their inner purpose. Communication is a non-negotiable and pivotal aspect of work and life in general, so understanding how you best engage with others is a key step toward personal growth.
Once an employee comes to terms with their communication style, they can better relate to their colleagues, bosses, and other routine figures in their life, and create meaningful interactions and relationships. This understanding will give them the confidence to be enthusiastic contributors to the workplace in their own unique way.
Andrew Chen, Chief Product Officer, CommentSold
Can You Name One Activity That Makes You Feel The Most Alive?
The one question you should ask an employee who needs your help finding their inner purpose is: ‘Can you name one activity that makes you feel the most alive?’ From this information, you can develop an idea of what makes them happy and what will fulfill them in their work.
Helping your employees to get tasks they are best at will help with employee retention and a sense of inclusion in the workplace. Some of us are better suited for creative jobs, and others prefer to work with spreadsheets and deadlines. Working on an exciting project and seeing the results of our hard work helps to motivate us to keep going and complete our tasks.
The best thing in professional life is to find a job that feels purposeful and boosts the happy chemicals in our brains. This way, you’ll never feel like you’re working.
Derek Sall, Founder of Life and My Finances and Financial Expert, Life and My Finances
What is Your Holistic Self?
This question seeks to answer how you lead with your whole self. Often we think of a few limited aspects of our lives that define our purpose – family, friends, hobbies, work. We believe that we act specifically in each space and think we have a mask or on-off switch between each. This can create stress and confusion, and often a loss of meaning. Instead, we think of one persona that acts across all areas in a consistent way. Some people may get it others won’t but that’s ok. When we act authentically in this holistic manner at all times in all environments, we often feel the most balanced.
Tony Deblauwe, VP Human Resources, Celigo