More than Money: Temperament and the Need for Meaningful Work

Work that is purposeful and mission-based fits naturally within an introvert’s professional toolkit. Introverts are intrinsically aware of the impact their words and actions have on other people. It makes sense that an introvert would align with an organization that is mindful of its impact on the world. In that same vein, introverts make it a point to know themselves. Knowing their company—what it stands for, why it matters, how each role makes a difference—is a logical extension of this need for self-understanding. And of course, introverts like to dig deep. It’s important for an introvert to know the details that support a company’s purpose. A slogan or catchphrase isn’t enough—introverts need to see the proof behind the words.

While the ways introverted and extroverted employees differ can create a pages-long bulleted list, introverts aren’t alone in their preference for meaningful work. It turns out that extroverts share this desire too. As per the article below from the Harvard Business Review about KPMG, a Calling Brands survey found that after pay, purpose is the most important factor for employees when considering who to work for and whether they feel motivated to go the extra mile for their company. And a Net Impact survey found that 65% of workers and students said that “the potential to contribute to society” and “a job that will make the world a better place” is very important to them, with about one in four deeming this to be essential.

KPMG offers an inspiring, accessible example of how a company can rally its people around a sense of shared purpose while keeping individual needs in mind. To build support around KPMG’s new purpose statement, they launched the 10,000 Stories Challenge. The program encouraging 27,000 partners and employees to work individually, in small groups, or larger teams and develop posters that shared stories about how their work is making a difference. The end result? KPMG staffers contributed four times that number of posters— and enjoyed one of its best financial years in recent memory.

Read more about how KPMG employees became champions of their company’s purpose in Bruce N. Pfau’s article, How an Accounting Firm Convinced Its Employees They Could Change the World

Enjoy Quiet Revolution’s posts on work, leadership, and temperament? Feel free to reach out and sign up for our Quiet Leadership Institute newsletter—we love to hear from you!