By Rick Lash and Peter Aceto; originally posted to The Globe and Mail on December 2, 2017.
Having a strong purpose is a fundamental component to a happy, fulfilling life. People with a positive, engaging purpose tend to be more focused, optimistic and successful in what they do. They love going to work every day because they’re doing work that is most meaningful to them and they feel they’re working for an organization that is making a positive difference in society.
But many millennials report that they are experiencing a lack of purpose at work. Part of the reason is what Craig Ryan, director of social enterprise at the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), calls pervasive short-termism. “Companies that drive too quickly to targets create an imbalanced view of what value is.” For many millennials, he says, there is a dismay with conventional businesses that only focus on driving profit to the exclusion of all else. Customer service reps are feeling pressured to sell financial products to customers who don’t have a need; people hoard work or sales opportunities to meet their own numbers instead of collaborating and supporting each other.