So while the focus has, admittedly, widened, the group that perhaps hasn’t been given enough consideration is employees. After all, employees today demand that their companies stand for more than just profit: businesses are expected to be more socially responsible than ever before – and purpose is one way of demonstrating this commitment.
The proof here is in the McKinsey data: an April 2021 survey found that employees are five times more likely to be excited to work at a company that spends time reflecting on the impact it makes in the world. One would imagine that hybrid working had a part to play in that story.
It follows, then, that a strong company purpose can (and should) act as a unifying force within and for the wider organisation – a rallying cry that not only serves to instil a sense of pride, motivation and meaning, but that also helps employees better communicate the value of their organisation to the wider world. In the difficult times in which we live, I’d argue that the need for collective solutions and unified intent is greater than ever before.
Purpose, when well-articulated and considered alongside a brand’s vision and mission, acts as a connective tissue, instilling a group identity and unifying the people behind (and in front of) the brand. It’s the North Star towards which everyone – shareholders, stakeholders, employees, wider communities – turns. And the brands that get it right are recognising its value as an anthropological tool that taps into how we feel about being part of a collective, unified in our understanding of what a brand stands for in an increasingly challenging and disparate world.
This article first appeared in Transform.