Get Purpose At Work
Purpose. Your Missing Ingredient?
Think of the world's most inspiring organisations like Patagonia and the thing they all have in common is that they are playing a game bigger than themselves in service of others.
Another great example of purpose in action is Volvo. They recently shared 40 years of their safety data with their industry competitors.
Their purpose? Make cars safer for all.
So beyond just making a financial return for your stakeholders, what social and environmental impact is your business making? Why should your employees or customers care about what you are doing?
Whilst a marketing-based purpose statement is a great place to start, a true, higher purpose takes more than a session with a brand agency.
It's about fully exploring and embracing purpose across the entire team. It's about identifying and upholding the behaviours and attitudes that align to your purpose and ensure you live and breath it every day.
It's about baking it into the strategy so that you maximise the opportunity for purpose to come alive. It's about measuring and reporting on the good that you are doing and having a plan for doing more good in the future.
So what is your purpose?
Beyond it being the right thing to do, if you can authentically connect to your purpose you will unlock so much untapped potential and energy. See if your business is showing any of the 8 signs that you need to go in pursuit of purpose:
1. Team lacking in results?
It's really easy to spot the organisation of purpose because their teams are consistently high performers. Their employees are passionate advocates of the stand their business takes on improving the planet.
2. Staff engagement low?
And that's because as humans we seek purpose and meaning but are struggling to find it at work. Expectations of sustainability and social impact are becoming more mainstream and brands with a higher-purpose are seen as leaders by employees.
3. Struggling to engage new talent?
Your future workforce gets this purpose stuff. They want to work in roles where they are contributing to something bigger. Being purpose-led will ensure your organisation is positioned for the future and can attract and maintain the best talent.
4. Looking for peak performance?
Becoming purpose-led is a proven road to success and growth. Having a defined big-picture purpose that truly matters to us as individuals and teams provides focus, fulfilment and the drive to succeed. This translates into increased happiness, health, job satisfaction, productivity, better relationships, higher sales – and much more. Check out the statistics.
5. Looking for more and better customers?
In a world of increasingly conscious consumers, customers are proven to seek out businesses with a bigger purpose and are willing to pay more for their products and services. 73% of global consumers will switch to higher-purpose brands and maintain their loyalty*. It makes financial sense to be genuinely doing business for good. Fans of purpose-driven businesses are evangelical about their products and services.
6. Seeking investment for growth?
Shareholders, employees, customers and communities now want to see more than financial performance – they want to see evidence of how companies are making a positive contribution to society. As Larry Fink put it in his now famous 2018 letter to CEOs: Your stakeholders give your business its licence to operate and without a sense of purpose, no modern business can achieve its full potential. The market eagerly seeks to invest in organisations that aim to make a more positive impact and return.
7. Kiwis can't find you!
Kiwis want you to take action. Recent research by Colmar Brunton shows that New Zealanders have a fast-growing awareness of societal issues and want to support businesses who are making a real impact. Our country wants to prioritise actions that will address hunger and poverty, increase health and wellbeing, improve education, clean up the environment and achieve decent work and economic growth for all. However, Kiwis really struggle to name businesses authentically delivering impact on purpose.
8. Leaders - looking for real legacy?
To see the change that we need in the world we need leaders of purpose. We need big, bold, courageous action that might go against the narrative. But to do that takes connection, authenticity and vulnerability. Look back through the ages and we see time and again the real leaders were the one focused on going big or going home. Imagine the legacy you could leave if you worked to solve one of the world's big challenges.
9. Bonus - Purpose is contagious
Finding your purpose will not only benefit you personally and professionally; chances are you’ll spread the good vibes to those around you and start a tidal wave of impact. A 2017 study proved that doing good makes life better for you and for the people you’re supporting – plus it’s contagious. People who receive acts of kindness are three times more likely to do good acts themselves. That's why I call it the self-saucing chocolate cake of goodness!