How Purpose Drives Results in Business

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Does your company’s mission live at the heart of your business? A solid sense of purpose can be the pulse of your operation, infusing your staff with the enthusiasm to excel and inspiring fierce loyalty among your customers. But business leaders often find that their best efforts to instill a sense of purpose into their operations never moves beyond crafting a mission statement that gathers dust in a binder.

“Imagine if you could find a magic pill you could give your employees that would make them go above and beyond for you. Purpose is that magic pill,” says Lisa Gruenloh, president and founder of Purpose Journey Inc. in Naples and an organizational consultant, coach and trainer.

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

“Employee engagement drives every single organizational and business outcome most organizations are working toward: customer engagement, profitability, productivity, retention,” says Gruenloh, who is also a certified purpose workshop facilitator for the Blue Zones Project, a local community well-being initiative. “Your people are your most valuable asset, and it’s important to understand what motivates them … that they are part of a team that has a compelling mission, is a vital aspect of organizational health.”

How can you breathe new life into your organization’s purpose and weave it into your company in a way that drives sustainable success?

FUELING PROSPERITY

A sense of purpose directly impacts prosperity, because employee engagement affects how well customers are treated. The customer experience drives customer engagement, which drives profits.

Mission also pushes customer engagement directly. Gruenloh gives the example of a customer shopping for shoes. If the customer feels that the company she’s buying from only cares about making the sale, but doesn’t care whether she is happy or comfortable, she will probably buy from a competitor next time. A company that is purpose-driven around improving the lives of its customers will be much more successful at earning customers’ enthusiastic loyalty than a company that is purely sales or profit-driven.

PURPOSE IN THE COMPANY CULTURE

Enthusiasm around the company mission statement often flags because the sense of purpose isn’t deeply threaded into the company’s culture. Gruenloh recommends that leaders help employees and teams develop goals and bench- marks around purpose-driven goals in the same way goals are set for performance goals. She suggests setting up metrics to measure how well employees’ actions demonstrate the company values and impact the mission. “Ask yourself, ‘What behaviors do our employees need to be demonstrating consistently in order to be successful, in a way that’s part of our brand or mission?’ and set up metrics to measure those behaviors.”

Being rewarded and recognized for their contribution to the team’s purpose will help your staff feel a sense of belonging. You’ll also be helping them connect with an individual sense of purpose in life, which improves their mental and physical health and well-being, Gruenloh says.

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