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September 15th 2021

The power of purpose

A strong sense of purpose in your organisation is key to driving employee satisfaction and retention.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, many businesses have seen what the media has referred to as, “The Great Resignation” - where employees are leaving or switching jobs in their thousands. For many, employers have played a big part in why they are walking away. A major driver of this has been related to purpose. Many employees are seeking a change as they no longer find satisfaction, meaning or feel valued in their current role.

Employees expect their jobs to bring a sense of purpose to their lives. Employers need to help meet this need - if they don’t, their talented people will move on to companies that do. In order to define their purpose, businesses need to ask - “Why do we do what we do?” A business’s purpose describes the reason that the business exists. A firm’s purpose directs its teams of people to pursue objectives with a strong intention to service the wellbeing of others including customers, colleagues and the wider community.

The best businesses have a meaningful reason to exist. It’s about more than just selling a product or service. A good example is The Body Shop – a business whose success is linked to a strategy of selling all-natural products underpinned by a social drive to help communities in poorer nations around the world find sustainable employment while also protecting the environment.

Purpose is connected to the overall objectives of the business and helps to create the perception of the business among everyone inside and outside the firm. Once the firm’s overarching purpose has been defined, the leaders of the business must then work to help everyone in the firm to understand what their contribution should be – so that they know how to get involved.

Ultimately, the power of purpose comes into play when each individual team member understands how their efforts align to it. As such, it is important for the management team to keep the firm’s purpose front and centre for all employees. They should talk about their individual efforts and share examples of how they themselves have been working towards the company’s end goals. This can help to inspire others and motivate everyone across the firm to get involved.

Once the firm has articulated its purpose clearly and all team members are behind it, the external brand comes to life as a reflection of the internal culture. The sense of purpose and authenticity becomes tangible to customers and all who come into contact with the firm.

Having a clear purpose will help to motivate your people through tough times and will also help to attract new talent the firm. In the current environment, this has never been more important.

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