How To Build a Purpose-Driven Company [And Why This Matters]
Purpose is rapidly becoming an industry buzzword. We read and hear of many leaders alluding to purpose in their PR activities, annual reports and media interviews. But are these companies truly purpose-driven? Has purpose permeated through everything they do?
Having a purpose statement isn’t enough to claim that you are a purpose-driven company. So how exactly do you become truly purpose-driven, and as a business leader, why should you really care about this?
In today's fast-paced business world, it's easy to get caught up in the pursuit of profit and growth at all costs. However, companies that prioritize a higher purpose beyond just financial gain and put their people, communities, customers and the planet before profit, are increasingly being recognized as the most successful and sustainable businesses. These are truly purpose-driven companies as they operate with a deep sense of purpose that permeates into their values and principles and this is their North Star that guides their actions and decisions.
Here are a few key reasons why Being a Purpose-Driven Company Matters:
Increased Employee Satisfaction and Loyalty
One of the biggest benefits of being a purpose-driven company is increased employee satisfaction and loyalty. When employees feel that their work is meaningful and that they are contributing to something bigger than themselves, they are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and productive. A recent study by Deloitte revealed that purpose-driven companies witness higher market share gains and grow three times faster on average than their competitors, all while achieving higher workforce and customer satisfaction.
Better Brand Image and Customer Loyalty.
Another benefit of being a purpose-driven company is a better brand image. Companies that prioritized a higher purpose beyond just financial gain are viewed more favourably by consumers and other stakeholders, who are looking for businesses that align with their own values and beliefs. Standing for something beyond your products and services and being a force for good connects you to the hearts of your customers. This leads to increased brand loyalty, customer advocacy, and ultimately a stronger bottom line. Your customers become part of your marketing team and your brand advocates.
Improved Financial Performance.
Contrary to popular belief, being a purpose-driven company can actually lead to improved financial performance. Several studies by Harvard Business Review and Deloitte, found that companies that prioritize purpose outperformed their peers on various financial metrics, including stock price, earnings per share, and return on equity. This is because purpose-driven companies are better able to attract and retain talent, foster innovation, and build strong, long-lasting relationships with customers, partners, and stakeholders.
Now that we’ve established why being purpose-driven matters, here is the path to becoming a purpose-driven company.
Becoming a purpose-driven company requires more than just a mission statement or a tagline. It requires a deep commitment to a higher purpose, values, and principles that guide all aspects of the business.
Here are some steps companies can take to become purpose-driven:
Define Your Purpose
The first step in becoming a purpose-driven company is to define your purpose. This should be a statement that captures the reason for the company's existence and what it stands for. Ask empowering questions like; what are we really here for? What is your ‘gift’ to the world and what is the ultimate benefit we bring to people and or the planet? It should be inspiring, meaningful, and reflect the core values and beliefs of the organization.
Here are some examples of purpose statements:
Microsoft: Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Google: Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Southwest Airlines: Connect people to what’s important in their lives.
Hubspot: To help organizations grow.
Space X: Preserve human consciousness and make humanity multi-planetary
LinkedIn: To connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful.
As you see, there is nothing commercial in these statements. It’s just about the greater good these company offer. Each statement clearly articulates the reason WHY the company was created. It transcends their products or services.
Align Your Operations with Your Purpose
Once you have defined your purpose, you must align your operations with your purpose. This means embedding your purpose into all aspects of the business, from the products and services you offer to the way you treat your employees, and how you interact with your customers and other stakeholders. In short, purpose becomes the DNA of your company.
Involve Employees in Your Purpose
Involving employees in your purpose is key to making it a reality. This means communicating your purpose clearly, training employees on its importance, and encouraging them to contribute to its realization. It also means creating a work environment that supports the purpose, with policies and practices that align with it.
Measure and Communicate Your Impact
Finally, it's important to measure and communicate your impact. This means tracking your progress towards achieving your purpose and sharing your results with stakeholders, including employees, customers, and the wider community. This helps to build trust, transparency, and accountability and shows that you are committed to making a positive impact. Internal purpose metrics like the Net Purpose Score which measures how well you are doing vis a vis your purpose is a good indicator of how well your purpose has permeated though the company. Share the results with your team, let everyone know how what they do, contributes to the higher purpose of the company.
Being a purpose-driven company is not just about doing good, it's about creating a sustainable business that delivers great value to all your stakeholders. By prioritizing purpose and effectively operationalizing it, you are on the path to being a true purpose-driven enterprise with a business that is built to last and be successful for the long term.
As a Business Transformation Architect focused on building strong cultures, I’ve helped scores of businesses discover their purpose and permeate it through everything they do. I’ve created several frameworks that fast-track this complex process and build that dream company every leader or business owner aspires for. These are ‘evolved’ enterprises, with exemplary work cultures driven by highly engaged and passionate people. These purpose-led enterprises are fuelled by a higher purpose at their core that successfully attracts and retains the best talent and fuel passion and employee engagement. They have high Glassdoor ratings and get on the Best Places To Work elite list of companies.
I will be delighted to share how you can fast-track this process and become a highly successful company that employees love, customers adore and the world admires. More information on my website: www.transformandtranscend.co
About the author
Ashok Miranda is an Author and Singapore’s Leading Business Transformation Architect and expert on company culture. He is the founder of Transform and Transcend which provides world-class business transformation consultancy and training services. Ashok is the author of the book Culling Cuturitis: How To Rid Your Company Of This Toxic Disease and Build a Winning Company Culture.
As a much sought-after consultant, speaker and trainer, Ashok has successfully transformed scores of businesses (startups, SME's and MNCs) and helped thousands of executives to change their mindsets and reach their full potential.
Ashok is driven by his passion and purpose to Architect a Better Business World. His mission is to transform companies to be true forces for good. He has created several novel frameworks and processes that fast-track the creation of strong purpose-driven companies with exceptional work cultures and customer-centric brands with ultra-loyal customers and passionate brand advocates.