Have you taken the first steps in building your organization’s purpose-driven brand, and are wondering where to go next? The answer: your employees. To best support your brand, it’s essential to encourage and nurture a purpose-driven culture from within. According to Inc.com, “employees who find purpose in their work are more motivated, engaged and productive. And companies with engaged staff outperform those without by over 200 percent.”
There’s yet another reason to focus on staff engagement. By creating a purpose-driven workplace for your current (and future) employees, you not only increase overall job satisfaction, but you encourage buy-in of your company’s social purpose from all stakeholders. And buy-in from all levels is what makes a social purpose brand succeed.
So How Do You Create a Purpose-driven Culture?
In their latest book, The Purpose Revolution, John Izzo and Jeff Vanderwielen explore “how leaders create engagement and competitive advantage in an age of social good.” They highlight key steps that leaders at every level should take when nurturing a purpose-driven culture and organization:
1. Authentically lead your purpose
To successfully drive purpose within your organization and team, you must first have a solid grasp on your own personal purpose, as a leader. This means looking at your own values, what you want for your future, and what you want your legacy to be. Why are you doing what you’re doing? What are you leading towards? By answering these questions, you’ll be able to articulate your purpose, and more effectively lead a team or organization in authentically finding and living their own.
2. Drive job purpose, not function
It’s important to differentiate between job function – the tasks and responsibilities that make up the role, and job purpose – why the role exists within the organization and why it’s inherently important. As Izzo and Vanderwielen explain, “As leaders we need to learn to articulate the company’s mission and how it relates to the purpose of each individual on our team.” In this way, you give deeper meaning and purpose to every job and role within the organization, and tie your company’s purpose and mission to each individual employee.
3. Get your employees involved in your purpose
In the past, companies with social purpose policies often demonstrated this from the top down, via company charitable donations, and initiatives from the CEO. These days, however, Izzo and Vanderwielen say that “your team members want to help shape your company’s purpose and values” and that they “are eager to get involved and get their hands dirty.” To do that, get your employees involved in volunteering and charitable initiatives that support your organization’s social purpose from the ground up.
4. Consistently communicate your purpose
Once your organization’s social purpose is established, and you’re taking steps to integrate that purpose into every decision and aspect of your business, don’t stop there. Continue to regularly emphasize and communicate your purpose to your employees. Take time to communicate stories about how your company’s mission and purpose are positively affecting your customers and stakeholders, and how employees can integrate this into their jobs and lives.
To successfully lead a purpose-driven organization, it’s important to look past job titles and performance indicators, and encourage your team members (and yourself) to find a deeper connection with the purpose of the organization. By connecting individual values to those of your organization, you will create more engaged, happy and satisfied employees. And you’ll be a stronger leader as a result.