Is your purpose serving a purpose?
Too many corporate purpose statements end up as nothing more than wallpaper on the company website. Francis Grabowski shares his advice on how to get more out of yours.
Having a nice purpose statement for the company website is… nice.
But thriving on your purpose is clearly much better.
So, what makes the difference? Here are a few things to make sure you get it right.
Make decisions on purpose
Make your purpose a core driver of your business decisions. You’ve spent time carefully crafting a statement that captures why you do what you do, so use it. Your purpose should guide decision making throughout your business, from the C-suite to the shop floor. If you’re thinking that won’t work, then your statement might not be fit for purpose.
How do you get people to use purpose in decision making?
Make it part of their KPIs and performance review metrics. Purpose-based decision making should be positively correlated with pay and progression.
Lead by example. Do your ESG initiatives, internal activities and culture align with your purpose? What more could you be doing to deliver on it?
Last but not least, inspire them! Show employees how their colleagues are making great decisions guided by purpose, and how those decisions have a positive impact on the world and the business – through conversation, stories, films…
Proof is in the partnering
Rightly or wrongly, working with another organisation implies that you condone their actions and business practices.
So, make sure the people you’re working with and affiliated to aren’t at odds with your purpose. You don’t have to share the exact same goals but, for example, it will undermine your credibility if you say you care about human rights but work with companies using child labour.
Talk and walk
If you’re doing all this good stuff, don’t forget to let people know about it. You can’t engage with others or inspire change in a closed room where no one can see you.
Increasingly, people want to work for, buy from and invest in companies that care about more than just the bottom line. But they won’t just take your word for it, you have to prove it.
Show how you’re living your purpose through creative and engaging content. Then share it with investors, customers, media and potential recruits across the channels they use most.
If you’d like to hear how Bladonmore can help articulate your purpose and bring it to life, get in touch.