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How to Motivate Teams with Purpose

This is an excerpt from our main newsletter, Take an Aspirin. Read the full version here.



Throughout time, people have turned away from high-paying prestigious jobs in favour of a more purposeful, meaningful career. And this increased when the Covid-19 pandemic gave people the time and opportunity to reflect on what’s most important to them.


In Motivational Maps terms, we call this the ‘Searcher’ motivation, and our research shows over 80% of the people who’ve completed a Motivational Map are highly motivated by ‘Searcher’. The Searcher motivator is about purpose, meaning and making a difference. It’s customer-focused and drives continuous improvement – which are both crucially important to developing happy customers, happy profits and strong businesses. It brings people together and enables them to focus on a longer-term, bigger contribution and that’s crucial during these turbulent times.


So, how can you use the ‘Searcher’ motivator to increase motivation and employee retention with your teams?

  1. Talk about the purpose of your organisation, and the difference your teams make by being a part of something bigger.

  2. Help each person understand the difference they’re making through even the smallest actions. (The coffee guy at Bournemouth beach didn’t know I’d had a family bereavement, and that I needed his smile and professionalism rather than his anger!)

  3. Help them make that difference – through timely decision-making, adequate resourcing and treating your team with respect.

  4. If there aren’t enough resources or time, redefine the expectations. Believing it’s impossible to make a difference no matter how hard you try, results in hopelessness, despair, anxiety, and resignation.

  5. Provide just-in-time feedback. Say ‘thank you’ and provide direct evidence of the difference being made, e.g. customer feedback or statistics.

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