Does your company have a purpose? Do you live and breathe that purpose? Do your employees?
A purpose-driven company is clear about its direction to leaders, stakeholders and customers, but it takes a little more for that purpose to be truly imbued into its culture. When done right, every single team member has a heartfelt sense of ownership for the purpose, employees feel respected, and everyone in the company is working in the same direction.
It’s no secret that companies are facing the toughest labour market in decades. Competition for top talent is fierce, and the ‘great resignation’ is still a pressing concern for many. Pair this with the fact that countless studies have shown Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to join a business if it demonstrates ethics that align with their own (in fact, nearly half of Gen Z will work for a purpose-driven company for a 20% lower salary) and it’s evidently never been more important to instil your company’s purpose into your culture.
To attract and retain the most socially-conscious generation, purpose must sit at the heart of your company culture. Read on for our top five tips on embedding your purpose and attracting top talent.
- Do the work, and talk about it
Imbuing a sense of purpose into your culture is one thing – ensuring your employees know about it, and bringing them along for the journey is just as important.
Drive your mission and values home with your internal communications – tell your team about your success and community endeavours to show your purpose in action. Establishing a positive culture that centres purpose and highlights the valuable output of your company’s work is key to employee retention.
- Don’t neglect inclusivity and belonging
Inclusion is a major driver of employee buy-in, particularly for younger workers.
A strong and genuine DEI effort helps employees connect to your organisation and helps establish a purpose-driven culture.
Working hard to offer your employees the resources they need to thrive is win-win for your business. Purpose and belonging go hand in hand, and providing a safe and welcoming context for your employees is a huge step towards establishing a culture that centres purpose.
- A purpose-driven workplace starts at the top
You can’t expect your employees to live your purpose if senior team members aren’t leading the way.
Transparency is the key here – the leadership must share knowledge about their goals, mission, and progress with employees, so team members can see exactly how their work contributes to them.
Understanding the bigger picture is crucial when establishing a purpose-driven culture. It allows individual contributors to see how their work fits into the end goal; it also makes for a more confident and able workforce.
Knowing why things happen the way they do is an incredible motivator. Rather than blindly following leadership with no sense of the reasoning behind decisions, employees with a ‘whole-picture’ view have more agency to drive their work towards the main business objectives.
- Bring everyone together
Purpose-driven workplaces start with socialisation and collaboration.
Creating a sense of belonging is crucial for motivating employees to embrace your company’s purpose. Make them feel safe, respected and supported. Leaders can achieve this through feedback and praise and by asking employees to offer their perspectives. This gives you a unique insight into their purpose and what drives them.
Collaboration has become a different beast throughout the past few years as the pandemic changed ways of working forever. The uptick in hybrid and remote working makes this even more important – try to assemble your employees together frequently and provide social contexts for them to come together and share their passions and purpose with their colleagues.
- Adopt a whole-person approach
Seeing employees as a collective undistinguished mass of workers is the antithesis of a purpose-driven culture. Leaders must adopt a whole-person approach when it comes to their team. Your employees are dynamic, complex individuals, each with their own passions, strengths and needs – be sure to recognise this.
Motivate employees to follow what lights them up – getting them excited about your purpose will drive great productivity and improve employee happiness.
The work to build a purpose-driven company culture begins today
We hope these tips help you foster a culture that will connect your employees to something above and beyond the fundamentals of their day-to-day roles and help them understand and embrace the higher purpose of your company.