A Purpose Mindset In The Workplace: How Microsoft Built Employee Happiness Around A Culture Of Giving

Workplace Purpose To Drive Employee Satisfaction

In early November, Microsoft alumnus, Akhtar Badshah, released his latest book, The Purpose Mindset: How Microsoft Inspires Employees and Alumni to Change the World. 

An expert in philanthropy and a former Senior Director of Microsoft Citizenship and Public Affairs, Badshah offers great insight into how Microsoft has cultivated a culture, both internally and externally, of giving and community. In the process, he draws on examples of Microsoft alumni among the likes of Jeff and Tricia Raikes and their causes

Whether you are seeking to improve your employees’ job satisfaction and retention, keep your alumni engaged, or improve your recruiting processes, creating a culture of giving can help you to do this. Likewise, if you are in the market for a new job, finding a company with this culture is incredibly valuable and can help to ensure your own job satisfaction.

Purpose Over Passion: The Purpose Mindset

The author advocates purpose over passion. Badshah believes passion is linked to a growth mindset. A “purpose mindset” is a play on this idea, and in Badshah’s opinion, is what shifts the focus of that growth from the self (or the company) to the community. In doing so, the common good is extended, and we are able to change the world. Being a part of something as big and meaningful as this is what increases employee satisfaction.

Building Communities

Building Community Through Purpose

Many Microsoft employees come from backgrounds where someone has assisted them along their journey. This is what the author believes has assisted greatly in instilling the giving and community spirit of Microsoft. Also, the company encourages employees and alumni to support causes they hold dear. 

This sense of community creates a sense of purpose within employees as they are inspired to give back in various ways. Employees give of their time and expertise to charitable causes as a result. This sense of purpose and meaningfulness is at the center of employee happiness at Microsoft and can be adopted by all businesses. It is also something job seekers should keep an eye out for in their search.

Building Bridging Networks

Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have isolated themselves physically, which has led to little interaction outside of smaller, trusted circles. While this is keeping many people safe, the author cautions the audience from developing echo chambers. While keeping within our circles is valuable as it helps us to bond over similarities, it is also important to extend beyond these boundaries to have a greater impact on the world. 

This is where extending this idea of community beyond just employees comes into play. While many Microsoft employees move on from the company, Akhtar Badshah being one of these people, this spirit remains. Microsoft employees move on to other companies and industries but still lend their time, money, and knowledge to the network they built while an employee at the company.

Adopt A Giving Culture

Adopting a giving culture in your business will greatly improve employee happiness, as evidenced by the experiences of Microsoft employees. Being a massively successful company over many decades, Microsoft is a prime example for employers and job seekers alike to follow.

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