The purpose-led organisation – how purpose builds a strong employer brand

Published by Jennifer Williamson on 21 February 2022

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We’re in the era of why. It’s not about what you do or how you do it, but about why you do it. People want to work for, buy from and invest in businesses that they believe in. Businesses that they know care about making a difference and share the same values.

Purpose is a statement of emotion and aspiration that explains the overall ambition of a business and the people they employ or choose to work with. It guides a business in the way it operates and explains why it exists beyond the pursuit of profit.

In our Shaping your future survey of over 650 business leaders, we found that 51% of businesses are ‘to a great extent’ becoming more socially focused and purpose-led, with an additional 36% saying they are to ‘some extent’.

What are the benefits of being a purpose-led business?

Our research shows that business leaders are increasingly recognising that having a common purpose is central to business success. Purpose is increasingly the goalpost in decision making.

When people in your business are aligned to and inspired by the business purpose, the benefits are immeasurable.

For employees, having a clear purpose enables them to have a stronger connection to the business. They understand why the business exists, what they are trying to deliver and how their role helps the business achieve that. Purpose-led businesses often have a strong employer brand and tell us that staff retention is improved.

Leading with purpose also helps customers and employees understand the business ethos and whether it aligns with their own principles. Customers and clients view purpose-led organisations as more caring, fostering greater loyalty.

It’s got to be credible

Although there’s evidence that purpose-led businesses are more successful, purpose is not, and should not, be a marketing tool.

To be meaningful and have impact, purpose must be authentic. Businesses must be able to demonstrate that their purpose is aligned with their behaviours. Any gaps in culture will need to be addressed and aligned with that purpose.

Here, we are increasingly asked to evidence the way we live our purpose – Guiding you to a brighter future – in client tenders and proposals. How are we bringing our purpose to life and how does it influence our current and future decision making?

We must be able to show that our purposeful practices go beyond the day job and are of equal importance as our experience and expertise.

If you are interested in finding out more about creating and introducing an authentic purpose for your business, our Growth team can help, please reach out to them.

You can also read our ‘Shaping your sustainable future’ article here to find out more about our journey.

Download your full copy of our ‘Shaping your future’ report based on findings from 652 business leaders here.

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