Our attitudes towards social responsibility has changed hugely in today’s corporate landscape; and last year saw a shift towards a greater focus on compassion, inequality and climate change. With customers and employees alike looking for socially conscious companies, there is no better time to reassess your organisation’s values and find its purpose.
87 per cent of customers choose to purchase from a company that advocates for issues they care about. But it’s not just consumers opting to choose a brand or organisation that aligns with their views, employees now expect more meaning and purpose in their work. A study conducted by LinkedIn revealed that 71 per cent of employees would be willing to take a pay cut if it meant working for a company whose purpose and values they believe in. In order to remain competitive, organisations need to adapt their business plans to focus on social responsibility and purpose.
Finding your purpose will not only have a positive impact on society, but it will also boost your public image and make your organisation more attractive to future employees and investors.
So, how to can you create purpose in your organisation?
Establish a social mission
Create a vision and purpose that supports business aims and employee values. An effective purpose needs to commit to more than just delivering value to its stakeholders, but also to making a positive impression and addressing significant issues.
Don’t be vague with your vision. Your newly defined purpose needs to set the stage for everything else and become ingrained in your organisation’s culture. Think about how your mission will align with your business model. Are you willing to model your values every day throughout your organisation? A genuine and authentic purpose will be easier to implement and have much greater success.
Educate your employees
In order to successfully realise your purpose, you need to keep your team educated. Your employees must be involved and informed every step of the way, from creation to its eventual implementation and fruition. Keeping your employees engaged helps ensure they are actively aligned with your purpose. If employees don’t understand or identify with your mission, they will be less committed and productive.
Interestingly though, less than 50 per cent of employees know what their organisation stand for. Without understanding your organisation’s purpose, your employees will be unable to carry this purpose forward successfully. Employees are more likely to embody these values if they see their leaders modelling them, so make sure your leaders continue to demonstrate that you are socially conscious.
Don’t just focus on your current employees, incorporate your purpose into recruiting. Continue communicating your purpose throughout the hiring process to make sure you consider candidates who believe in your organisation’s values.
Communicate your values
Be proud of your commitment to social consciousness. Share mission statements, customer promises and examples of your values in practice. Clear and concise communication of your values will also attract new customers and candidates.
Promoting your values on your website and social media also helps keep you accountable. Not everything will always go to plan, but being transparent demonstrates your commitment to your purpose.
If an organisation is seen to be ‘purpose-washing’, this can have a harmful impact on their work and perceptions of their customers, clients and supply chain. Your employees are your biggest advocates, so maintaining clear communication of your values, mission and purpose is crucial. Creating purpose within your organisation is just one step, though – employers must also demonstrate these values each day to ensure they both attract and retain skilled teams to drive the success of the business.
What is your organisation’s purpose?