Leadership

Many of your employees probably don't like their jobs. Here’s how to help

Apple employees
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It comes as no surprise that employees aren't always thrilled with their jobs. But a new study suggests that the vast majority of U.S. employees feel this way.

In fact, just 30 percent of the U.S. workforce consider themselves actively involved, enthusiastic and committed to their work, according to the 2016 Workforce Purpose Index.

The survey, which was created by LinkedIn and Imperative, a talent assessment platform, was sent to 26,151 LinkedIn members.

But there's a solution to that problem, according to Steve Immelt, CEO of global law firm Hogan Lovells. He tells CNBC Make It that the best way to help employees struggling with enjoying their jobs is to establish a sense of purpose.

"Get them excited by talking about what the firm is doing," says Immelt. "Create a one-second vision or strategy statement. Get people focused on what you're trying to create, what you want to do and how what they're doing is relevant."

Workers who believe in a company's mission are more motivated at work, he adds. The survey confirms this: Employees who have a sense of purpose at work are high performers, more productive and likely to stay longer.

But who is in charge of establishing a sense of purpose in an organization? Immelt says that task belongs to senior management and company leaders.

Fostering a sense of purpose in the workplace starts at the top, says Immelt. However, company leaders should establish a sense of purpose without being "very rah-rah," he says.

Immelt suggests starting by talking about what the firm is doing and creating a vision statement that is "clear and crisp."

However, he says, refrain from discussing results.

"People aren't motivated by results or by hitting a goal," Immelt says. "They aren't staying late in the office for that. They aren't catching a 5 a.m. flight for that. They do things because they think what they're doing matters."

This is especially important if you have a younger workforce. "They ask questions: 'What's the culture like?' 'Do I fit?' 'Am I proud to be a part of this?' 'Does this place allow me to be my best self?'" says Immelt.

The survey also revealed that 74 percent of employees want a job where they feel like what they're doing matters. This means that companies should make meaningful work a priority.

At his law firm, which employs over 2,500 people, he provides opportunities for employees to volunteer and do pro bono work, which he says keeps employees motivated and purpose-driven.

"Companies are very bottom-line oriented sometimes," Immelt says. "How do you connect with your company? This is what attracts people in the first place and keeps them there."

Immelt says that purpose-driven leadership should be embedded in the company's culture.

"It's not something that you do once and you're done with it," he says. "It requires constant attention, talking to people in the organization and understanding how they're perceiving the message."

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See also:

Mark Zuckerberg's best advice to young people: 'Finding your purpose isn't enough'

Psychologist who studies motivation: This will make you more excited about your job

6 ways young professionals can stay motivated between jobs