Expert opinion with Chris Cummings
This week we’re chatting to Chris Cummings, CEO of Sonas Group and Co-Founder of the Inside Out Awards, about the importance of finding purpose — and where to look for it if work misses the mark.
Why is having a sense of purpose so crucial for our wellbeing?
Having a sense of purpose in life has been proven to boost our physical and mental wellbeing. In fact, studies show that having a sense of purpose reduces the risk of developing heart conditions, helps us to develop greater emotional resilience, encourages us to make better decisions, and provides us with richer life experiences. Our jobs can give us a tremendous sense of purpose if the environment is right.
We know that having a sense of purpose in our work makes a huge difference to job satisfaction and overall happiness levels; what advice would you give to employers on creating a sense of purpose in the workplace?
We all, as employers, face a big choice as we emerge from the pandemic. A recent study by McKinsey revealed that nearly two thirds of employees claimed Covid had caused them to reflect on their purpose in life; if employers are not focused on purpose then, it will have a major impact on their talent management strategy. Employers need to build a strong purpose statement, create opportunities for employees to grow and learn, encourage collaboration and mentoring, and enable employees to build a strong sense of purpose outside of work.
Some of our readers will be in jobs that don’t bring them a sense of purpose; how can they find purpose in their life outside of work?
I personally find purpose in the simple things outside of work. Spending quality time with family and friends and being curious about meeting new people is a must. Giving back by helping someone in need, and supporting local charities that I have a strong connection to, is really important for me. I also get a real sense of purpose and achievement from learning a new skill or working on a project that aligns to my values.
You and Rob have just launched the 2022 Inside Out Awards with the mission of celebrating excellence on the mental health agenda. This seems like a pretty purpose driven mission; tell us more.
I’m so proud of The InsideOut Awards and the excellent team we have working on this purpose-driven mission. We are celebrating mental health and the amazing individuals and organisations who are championing it across the UK and beyond, and have been over-whelmed with the incredible work that companies have been doing to support their people. I’m really excited to see how the entries develop this year as mental health in the workplace becomes a Board-level priority for companies as we emerge from the pandemic.