I stopped by a coffee shop on my way to work today. It was a pretty chilly morning and there was a homeless man, asking for change just outside. While I waited in line, I watched as a cyclist wheeled his bike out of the café, stopped, and gave the homeless man his windbreaker. They talked for a minute and before he rode off, the cyclist also gave the man his coffee. It was the right thing to do. One person was in need and the other could help. We all have the chance to do something good today, and many of us find that opportunity in purposeful work.

Nicholas Pearce, clinical associate professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management was recently interviewed about purposeful work for the Harvard Business Review. Common purpose within an organization – and a commitment to the greater good – can attract the right team, inspire them to stay with an organization, and to give their best effort to achieve the common goals. Pearce says, “There’s an increasing importance on purpose because there are a lot of people, particularly Millennials, who are making employment decisions not based on profit potential, or even salary potential, and earnings potential, but on purpose alignment. So, it may not be a lot of companies right now that are focusing on purpose, but that number is certainly increasing sharply.”

At Next Level, we put a lot of emphasis on purpose. Our shared mission is, “To help people and organizations dig deeper, reach higher, and attain the next level. We will create engagement solutions that inspire loyalty and excellence, drive growth, and build thriving cultures.” We care a lot about the quality of what we do. We think about how our work achieves the corporate goals of client organizations and the impact it has on the day-to-day lives of the individual program participants. And when we can, we work together on community service initiatives to give our neighbors a chance to achieve more in a different way.

When I arrived at the office today – coffee in hand – our customer service team was deeply engaged in helping one of our program participants. A local vendor was having trouble with an electronic gift card a participant had received as a reward. The participant was worried and called for help. Everyone on the account team was engaged in making it right. From the senior director of the department, to the client success manager, to the customer service rep, NXLP teammates were fully engaged in solving the problem for the individual – that one person standing at the counter 1500 miles away – to be sure that he was taken care of. The Next Level team was united in purpose, delivering on our brand promise.

We can all do something good today, through purposeful work, or by giving our breakfast to the homeless guy on the corner.

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About the author

As Vice President of Travel & Engagement at Next Level Performance, Susan serves on the board of the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), and chairs the IRF Research Committee. She has also served on the board of the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) and is a past president of the Recognition Council, and a past member of the Performance Improvement Council and the Incentive and Engagement Solution Providers (IESP). She is interested in the strategies and benefits of employee engagement, incentive, and recognition programs. An avid traveler, she is also passionate about the art and science of incentive travel. Favorite travel destinations: Costa Rica, Iceland, Switzerland, and Maine.

Susan Adams
Vice President of Engagement
sadams@nxlperformance.com