The Purpose-Driven Employee

The Predictive Index’s Matt Poepsel recently wrote about the major human capital trends that will shape the coming year in hiring, defining “human capital” as, “…the collective value of the knowledge, skills, creativity, and other factors of any group of people performing work”.

What does today’s workforce look like, as seen through this lens? For one thing, it’s more diverse than ever in age, race, and gender. Even as the Millennials come on board, workers from the boomer generation are staying on the job longer than previously. Minorities and women are gaining ground. Employers are going to be more tuned in to the demands and desires of employees, who are less likely to stay at a single job than previous generations. Organizations themselves are increasingly flatter, more democratized, and more flexible, further reflecting what their employees value, and are offering expanded learning opportunities to employees looking to extend their skills and value.

Technology is impacting every aspect of the workplace to a greater extent than ever, too. From the Electronic Medical Record that is a blessing and a curse, to employees who bring their own mobile devices to work, to HR’s increasing dependence on predictive talent models to slot the right person into the right position, as well as management’s ongoing assessment of business processes and procedures in pursuit of productivity.

What kind of human capital do you look for in a new hire? Hospice demands a greater level of emotional commitment than do most workplaces. It’s a 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week operation. The work can be exhausting, physically and emotionally, and requires that we bring our best, every day, to every patient and family we serve. It requires a special kind of person to do this important work – which is why I always looked first for a purpose-driven person.

Many if not most employees see work as a straight quid pro quo; labor for money. Good employees have a personal investment in the quality of their work. But working in a hospice is unique because the patients we care for are dying. As Gretchen Brown, my friend and retired CEO of Hospice of the Bluegrass says, “We only get one chance with each patient. If we mess it up, then it can impact people’s lives in negative ways that we will never know. If we make it a positive experience, you can also have an impact on people’s lives in profound ways.”

That impetus to make a positive impact, and to bring comfort and solace to those at the end of their lives – there is no greater or more fulfilling purpose. Those who embrace it fully, who see it as a vocation as much as a job, are the people I’ve always felt were best suited to this work. I also looked for people with a belief in something greater than themselves; not specifically religion, but a faith in goodness, faith in humankind, faith in the rightness of the universe.

Most important of all, the purpose-driven person should see hospice as destination work, not a stopover on the way to something else. The bottom line is, when you’re hiring people, hire for personality and dedication and commitment to serve – for their sense of purpose in this vital work- then train them to be the very best hospice workers they can be.

Any guesses where this Tin Man lives??

Post By: Patti Moore

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