While a company must strive for economic value, it isn’t the only thing that matters. Rather than using financial growth as the sole source of motivation, a leader should work toward fostering a sense of greater purpose in their organization. When team members believe their work contributes to a positive outcome or change for the people they serve, they will work together better and be more flexible, open and productive.
Any effort to build such an organization starts from the top down. If you’re looking to develop a purpose-driven mindset among your team members, start with these 13 steps shared by the members of Business Journals Leadership Trust.
1. Start with what’s authentic for your organization.
For those who are new to being purpose-driven, any effort has to start with what’s authentic for your organization. A great place to start is your mission and core values. Even organizations that are 100% purpose-driven often have room to improve. To take it to the next level, explore how you can expand what you’re already doing to include all of your stakeholders to optimize your purpose and mission. – Jenn Kenning, Align Impact
2. Explain the impact of your work.
Leaders must ignite passion. Most of us want to make an impact and work toward a bigger goal. The leader needs to outline the vision, share the impact of the project on society or customers, and demonstrate how your team will be the team that drives the change. The leader has to make team members feel like they are collaborating for a compelling cause or building technology for good versus “just doing a job.” – Parna Sarkar-Basu, Brand and Buzz Marketing
3. Craft a mission statement that details your ‘what’ and ‘why.’
People want to feel that their work is having a positive impact on others. Articulate a mission statement that explains both what you do and why you do it. Consider the end state you want your customers to achieve — how will you improve their lives? Teams that see how their work connects to the broader world feel a personal sense of purpose, leading to a more purpose-driven organization. – Daniel Serfaty, Aptima, Inc.
4. Revisit your mission, vision and values annually.
It’s important to have an annual review process in place to revisit your mission, vision and values. Mindgrub follows the Rockefeller Habits. We have five-year, three-year and one-year goals that we re-evaluate. We turn the one-year goals into initiatives that then get assigned to respective leadership team members in the company. – Todd Marks, Mindgrub
5. Regularly share goals, metrics and progress.
Companies can become more purpose-driven by aligning the team around common goals. Q Consulting moves forward when our team is rowing the boat together, and we work hard to keep our team focused on our collective goals. Our leadership team openly shares our team and individual goals and constantly shares metrics and progress updates to keep the team motivated. – Matt Haiker, Q Consulting
6. Launch a corporate social responsibility program.
Connect your purpose to corporate social responsibility programs. Get outside of the workplace (virtually) and connect your teams so they can live out their own purposes, beyond work. Coming together to support the community you serve creates an automatic connection to your organization. – Keri Higgins-Bigelow, livingHR, Inc.
7. Let leaders decide ‘what’ and teams decide ‘how.’
Be transparent regarding the company’s overall objectives and align the team’s priorities to make an impact at large. Keep communication constant with monthly all-staff meetings and reiterate the quarterly goals, team contributions to those goals and next steps. Let the teams decide how to complete the goals, while the company decides what the goals should be. Everyone will be on target! – Sherine Khalil, Valor Compounding Pharmacy
8. Live your purpose in all your interactions.
You need to live your purpose. It’s easy to state a purpose, but if it is not built into the fabric of your organization, your team will not embrace it. We have stated our purpose and talk about it in sales presentations and include it in employee performance reviews. We allow the team time to engage with our purpose outside of work through volunteering and giving back. – Susan LaPlante-Dube, Precision Marketing Group
9. Attract and retain the right talent.
If you want to become a purpose-driven organization, you need to attract and retain talent. It will help if you create growth opportunities. You can do it by investing in their future, developing their skills and mentoring them to become the best they can be. You can do this through anything from training programs to culture-building activities like sports or film festivals. – Cody McLain, SupportNinja
10. Put your goals and mission statement in plain sight.
Display your goals and mission statement around the building so every team member can see and apply them daily. These competencies are extremely critical to ensuring that our business is consistently performing at the highest level possible. They keep us in line and ensure we are always striving to be the best version of ourselves to in turn make the biggest impact possible for our partners. – Scott Scully, Abstrakt Marketing Group
11. Give everyone ownership of something specific to the common objectives.
Unique ownership is better than shared ownership because such an approach makes the participants feel individually responsible for success. However, individual ownership should be on terms that matter to the participants. In other words, create a goal that satisfies the “what’s in it for them” question. – Russell Harrell, SFB IDEAS – a Strategic Marketing firm
12. Drill down to the problem that you solve.
Focus on your purpose! Every successful organization has a well-crafted purpose, but it can sometimes be forgotten with the stress and strain of daily productivity. Getting back to the problem that is being solved and the solution and purpose the company serves will bring teams back together, reviving and renewing them with a common goal. – Rachel Namoff, Arapaho Asset Management
13. Provide regular, honest feedback.
Make it a norm to provide feedback to your team. We make it a point to be open when it comes to feedback and have constructive discussions among peers. Our purpose is to provide as much value as we can to our customers, and being critical about our work is a huge part of that. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS