In the current fight for talent, employers are closely studying employee priorities and motivators to determine what perks and benefits they can add to their offering to create a more attractive and differentiated employment package. However, one of the biggest drivers for Millennial and Gen Z talent isn’t a tangible advantage such as a gym membership or free beverages. Rather, it’s about how an individual’s work can contribute to one’s sense of self and create a meaningful connection with the greater world. It’s about establishing purpose.
What is a company purpose?
First, let’s explain what a company purpose IS NOT.
A company’s purpose is not a mission or vision statement.
- A mission statement is about what an organization does each day.
- A vision statement is about what an organization aspires to be in the future.
Both are evolutionary, often based on the current leadership team’s direction and the current market and competitive landscape. Both are likely to change every 3 to 5 years.
A purpose statement is an articulation of the why. Why does an organization exist? Why should anyone care? Why should employees come to work each day? A purpose should be enduring, everlasting and encompass an organization’s foundational beliefs and values. It should reflect an organization’s causes and the connections a company makes with the rest of the world. More than just words on a page, a purpose statement must be inspiring and motivating. It should resonate with employees, stakeholders and customers alike.
EXAMPLES OF COMPANY PURPOSE
Disney: To entertain, inform, and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling.
Apple: Empower creative exploration and self-expression.
Tesla: We exist to accelerate the planet’s transition to sustainable energy.
Patagonia: Patagonia is in the business to save our home planet.
Bank of America: To help make financial lives better through the power of every connection.
Campbell Soup: Connecting people through food they love.
Coca-Cola: Refresh the world. Make a difference.
Target: To help all families discover the joy of everyday life.
Ikea: To create a better everyday life for the many people.
Lego: To inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.
Why is company purpose such a popular topic today?
The pandemic and the “Great Resignation” have prompted people to step back and re-evaluate their lives and what matters most to them. During the pandemic, feelings of isolation intensified, and many people lost a sense of connection, especially with their workplace. Many are seeking the satisfaction of being part of an organization that has a human purpose, a purpose that positively affects peoples’ lives.
Articulating your organization’s purpose and developing a strategic communications plan to connect your employees, future talent and other key stakeholders with this business imperative is a worthwhile investment for both employee engagement and retention.
Gallup research shows that just a 10% improvement in employees’ connection with the mission or purpose of their organization leads to an 8.1% decrease in turnover and a 4.4% increase in profitability.
How does an organization authentically communicate their purpose?
The essence of your organization’s purpose should be embedded in your employee value proposition and employer brand. It’s a core messaging point for attraction and engagement. In order to hire the right talent, it’s best for the company and the candidate when there are shared beliefs and values.
In communicating with employees, it is essential to keep messaging simple and relatable. A purpose is not supposed to be complex and full of corporate jargon, but something every employee can understand and relate to. It should be infused through your company culture and be brought to life through stories and examples that connect back to your team’s work.
The average worker will spend 13 years and two months of their lifetime at work. A strong organizational purpose will ensure that employees feel like their work matters and inspire them to bring their best each and every day.
Looking to inspire, motivate and engage your employees around your organization’s purpose? Drop us a note at [email protected].