How does your company make a positive impact?
And what’s your purpose beyond money?
To some folks, this might sound like navel-gazing or a consideration irrelevant to doing business. However, I’d argue that it’s something every company should be able to easily answer.
A clear understanding of your company’s purpose is critical for unlocking your true potential and for becoming a truly great organization.
Why Your Company’s Purpose Matters
Let’s be honest: there’s a ton of successful companies out there with no purpose other than financial incentives. And to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with that.
However, the greatest companies have a strong sense of purpose. There’s something driving the organization and their teams that goes past money – whether it’s revolutionizing an industry, making better products, or helping customers with important services. It’s not just about feeling warm and fuzzy, it truly strengthens the business.
Having a strong sense of purpose benefits nearly every aspect of doing business. One of the obvious answers is marketing, advertising, and the public perception of your company.
It’s easier to make compelling advertising if you’re known for giving back to the community and generally making a positive impact through your services. For example, AirBnB gets some great PR by helping refugees find shelter through their Open Homes program.
However, we can’t make the mistake of thinking it’s all about philanthropic efforts. Besides their charity work, AirBnb has branded themselves as the company that helps people go on great vacations and see wonderful new places. That’s an inspiring purpose that draws people to the company and their services.
It’s not just their charity work – their purpose is in everything they do. In their own words, it’s about creating “a world where anyone can belong anywhere, providing healthy travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive, and sustainable.” Their purpose does what every company’s purpose should: it inspires people and draws them to the company as employees and customers.
Your Purpose is an Indispensable Asset to Your Recruiting Efforts
As recruiters, we think about it from a talent acquisition perspective. At a time when it’s harder than ever for organizations to find the talent they need, businesses need to have an absolutely stellar employer brand. Part of that employer brand is centered around the impact your organization has on your customers and your community – regardless of whether that’s local or global.
To some folks, it might not seem like it matters. Do employees really care what their organization does if they’re getting a pay check? The notion is a little foreign to older generations, but younger folks are demonstrating that they want to work at organizations that make a positive impact on the world around them.
In fact, 78% of Millennials surveyed said that the values of their employer must match their own and 81% said that a successful business needs a genuine purpose. Gen Zers have also indicated they value this in a workplace, but I think it’s relevant to the entire talent pool.
Everyone Enjoys Making a Difference
I firmly believe that doing good in the world is something that everyone values to some degree or another. People of all ages enjoy helping others and feeling like they’ve done something to make the world a better place. It’s part of why so many retirees and senior citizens volunteer at non-profits and other organizations.
But we can’t sell anyone on our company’s purpose unless we’re clear on what our purpose is all about. We must weave our purpose into our advertising, marketing and branding efforts. However, the first step is gaining clarity on what our purpose is in the world.
Not All Heroes Wear Capes
People tend to get hung up on thinking that their purpose must be something glamorous. We assume that having a purpose means “saving the planet” or “ending poverty.” Those are very noble causes, but they just don’t fit for everyone.
Your purpose doesn’t need to be that dramatic. A company’s purpose can be simultaneously humble and compelling. Think of a pizza chain whose purpose is to bring people together over delicious pizza, powering family pizza nights across the country. Your purpose doesn’t have to be Hollywood material, it just has to be grounded in humanity and something people can connect to.
Here at Qualigence, our purpose is People Living Their Purpose. We strive to empower client organizations with inspired, purpose-driven teams. It’s about helping people and businesses realize their full potential by aligning their work with their purpose. We’ve always found our profits benefit when we focus on our true purpose – leading us to double down on that mission.
People Crave a Sense Purpose… Will Your Company Offer It to Them?
In all aspects of our life, from our work to our personal lives, people crave a sense of purpose. They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. When we recruit, we have a chance to draw people into a larger effort to make the world a better place.
The question is, will your organization offer that to candidates? And if so, how? It’s not always easy to answer these questions, but the rewards are worth it.