Recent studies have indicated that giving your employees a purpose improves productivity. Furthermore, many businesses fail to define their overall purpose thanks to generic goals and statements. These don’t speak to what the business does or who its customers are.
Typical statement examples include “being the company of choice” or “maximising shareholder value.” This disconnect means that many employees feel disconnected from their organisation’s purpose.
The roadblock to productivity: a lack of company purpose
Only one third of employees surveyed said that they could clearly see the value they add within a company. More than half weren’t motivated or passionate about their jobs.
Within the companies surveyed that clearly defined their value statements, 63% of employees say they’re motivated, versus 31% at other companies; 65% say they’re passionate about their work, versus 32% at other companies. Furthermore, more than 90% of these companies deliver growth and profits at or above the industry average.
How to ensure your company purpose statement is effective
When reviewing your companies purpose statement, it is important to consider the following:
• Is it clear whose lives or businesses we are trying to improve with our products and services?
• Is our purpose unique? Is our USP (unique selling point)defined? Does it set us apart from the competition?
• Do we actively for fill the defined purpose statement daily, in all areas of our business? A great purpose statement may be counterproductive if your business cannot execute on it.
Case Study: IKEA
IKEA is a good example of a company that offers a clearly defined purpose statement. It promises “to create a better everyday life for the many people” by “offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products. These products are at low prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.”
Further to their purpose statement, IKEA are constantly researching the ways customers live. They then translate those insights into future product designs. Every employee that works for the company has a clear idea of the purpose of the brand and in turn the value they themselves add to the company.
Need to rewrite your Company Purpose Statement? Here are some guidelines.
1. Forget what you know about Vision and Mission Statements.
The multiplicity of constructs only adds to the challenge of writing a strong purpose statement.
Begin by asking yourself, why does your business exist? Whose needs are you here to meet, and how are you uniquely equipped to do that?
2. How does your organisation do business, and what principles guide its decisions?
What type of work environment, customer experiences, and other interactions do you seek to create as you do business each day? How do you help your employees understand the type of work environment you seek to create, and the interactions with customers you wish to create?
3. Where does your business aspire to be in X years?
Finally, consider what you are striving to create in the long term. Research shows that strong leaders help their businesses articulate and aim for something more. They are very specific about future performance goals, the time frame for achieving them, and the metrics with which they will be judged.