page title icon How to use Purpose to Engage Employees

The Power of Purpose for Engaging Employees

The capability to engage employees is one of the most vital components for business success, especially today, when globally distributed workers are embracing multi-functional working structures. Through employee engagement, businesses are able to attract and retain more talent as well as increase corporate commitment to their goals.

In this episode, Steve addresses job functions, job essence, and how to make core values a part of these functions so that they are sustained, evolving, and progressing towards achieving these goals.

Steve Curtin was born in Schenectady, New York, where his father was a tire salesman, and his mother stayed at home with him and his sister. In the early-1970s, his father was relocated to Overland Park, Kansas, where Steve grew up.

He has one older sister who lives with her family in Wesley Chapel, Florida, outside Tampa. She is the local support for their mother, who lives in an assisted living facility in the area.

Growing up, Steve had a creative streak for which he used drawing as an outlet. Over time, his hobbies and interests evolved, and he began to do more reading which led to more writing.

Steve began working at Marriott in 1986 as a bellman for a summer job while in college. That led to an internship in human resources, leading to a manager in training (MIT) role in sales and marketing at the Overland Park Marriott Hotel.

From sales and marketing, Steve shifted back to human resources, this time in a training role at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square. After four years in New York City, Steve accepted a position with Marriott headquarters training and development, where he worked until October 2006. In 2007, Steve launched his consulting company to speak, write, and consult on customer service, customer experience, and customer experience management.

In 2013, he published his first book, Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary. In May 2022, he published his second book, The Revelation Conversation: Inspire Greater Employee Engagement by Connecting to Purpose.

Steve is proud of his contributions to the ongoing conversation on how to raise customer service quality and inspire greater employee engagement. He lives in Denver, Colorado, and is married with four children and a Goldendoodle named Nugget.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @enthused get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“Corporate decapitation:The top of the head of the organization is going one direction,and the feet are going somewhere else.” – Click to Tweet

“Anyone who is in the supervisory level role has the responsibility to reveal the totality of the employee’s job role.” – Click to Tweet

“Most are focused on delivery and execution.” – Click to Tweet

“Leadership and leadership skills and leadership competencies are not the same as getting the job done.” – Click to Tweet

“Competency is not enough.” – Click to Tweet

“Purpose of work has two journeys.” – Click to Tweet

“There are two journeys, one has to do with work the other has to do with life.” – Click to Tweet

“Purpose and core values are two different things.” – Click to Tweet

“Pursue alignment around core values.” – Click to Tweet

“Reveal, connect, inspire.” – Click to Tweet

“It’s like a North Star, you’ll never achieve it but it’s all about sustainment, movement, momentum, progress towards this aspiration goal.” – Click to Tweet

“Job functions are the what and the how.” – Click to Tweet

“Job essence is job purpose.” – Click to Tweet

“You don’t motivate people, people motivate themselves.” – Click to Tweet

“What is job essence? It’s your single priority at work.” – Click to Tweet

“You can mandate actions but what you cannot mandate are behaviors.” – Click to Tweet

“Exceptional customer service is always voluntary.” – Click to Tweet

“You can’t force an employee to deliver an exceptional customer service any more than you can force a customer to be loyal.” – Click to Tweet

“The single highest priority at work is to make a lasting impression.” – Click to Tweet

“Even with the best of intentions, nothing changes.” – Click to Tweet

Advice for others

Talk about the totality of the job role to improve customer service.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Time management.

Best Leadership Advice

Listen more than you talk.

Secrets to Success / Tools


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

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