Purpose. Survey results show that more than 90% of companies with a well-defined purpose deliver growth and profits at or above the industry average. It should be a vital focus for leadership.

  • Why does our company exist?
  • Who are we serving?
  • What value do we offer, and how do we differentiate when offering it?

People want to work for companies whose missions and business philosophies resonate with them intellectually and emotionally.

Sense of Community. Business leaders should recognize the importance of enabling employees to feel part of a community both at work and away from work. This establishes a culture for their teams that ensures greater job satisfaction, retention, and overall wellbeing. People are social beings, so their fulfilment at work requires something beyond task achievement and financial remuneration.

Purpose: inspiration or crisis?

In a survey of more than 540 employees worldwide conducted by PwC’s strategy consulting business, respondent feedback was as follows:

28% were fully connected to their company’s purpose

39% could clearly see the value they create

22% agreed that their jobs allow them to fully leverage their strengths

34% felt they strongly contributed to their company’s success

More than half weren’t even “somewhat” motivated, passionate, or excited about their jobs.

A crisis of purpose is when employees feel lost with the overall lack of direction. They will have less motivation overcoming challenges to achieve the company’s goals. The same survey also highlighted how purpose can inspire:

employees considered it to be more than twice as important, on average, as traditional motivators such as compensation and career advancement.

Companies that have clearly defined and communicated how they create value:

63% of employees say they’re motivated (vs. 31% at other companies)

65% say they’re passionate about their work (vs. 32% at other companies).

Community: nurturing at scale

Leaders should consider how their company might nurture community on a broader scale. It can be challenging to identify the added value needed by the community as well as where to offer support and engagement. However, small actions often have a ripple effect for driving a broader positive change. In this regard:

  • Promotion requires a network of people to support and deliver the vision, such as HR, those in Ops, and Department Influencers
  • The ideal is to create an environment that allows others to be their best and deliver value to the group. This includes inspiring individuals to proactively pursue projects where they feel they can make a positive impact towards the group goals.

Successfully building a sense of community within your workforce creates belonging, a culture of knowledge sharing, and a community spirit. Regardless of the industry, your company will have a surplus of knowledge. Typical examples are the skills required to do a specific job. Through the process of sharing resources, a company improves their internal community with more capabilities and connectedness.

Communication is an investment in Purpose and Sense of Community

Strong leaders personify their company’s purpose every day through their words and actions, whether that involves communicating priorities to employees or visibly spending time with them and customers. A workforce will uncover whether leaders follow through on the tough decisions required to properly realize the company purpose. It would be impossible to achieve excellence if your employees didn’t know why they are coming to work every day.

As your company’s best asset, employee knowledge and talent enables product creation and an ability to solve problems for your customers. Communication is how we constitute and enact those relationships, make decisions, manage projects, and celebrate successes. Everything from productivity to organizational culture is influenced by internal communication. In summary, it’s how your people relate to the company and how the company relates to them. This positive sense of community can make the workplace more fun.

Conclusion

Why do I work here?” is a question asked by every employee. Purpose and Sense of Community are at the very foundation of answering this question. To understand your company position, the following can be evaluated:

  • Do our employees know the company purpose?
  • Could our employees identify our company purpose when compared to a competitor?
  • Do our employees have the resources required to successfully deliver the company’s purpose?
  • Do we attract and retain our best employees because of their experiences at our company?
  • Are our employees positively motivated?

Nearly every important initiative, whether it’s revenue growth, cost reduction, or new-product innovation, requires insights and actions from across the company. Communication helps to break down silos, whether functional or geographic. In today’s business world, digital communication makes it possible to reach all employees, anywhere, anytime. It’s a fast way to share knowledge, uncover how the workforce experiences the company, and to learn of their general work mood.

The “company purpose” and “sense of community” are symbiotic: one without the other endangers the goal of a successful, committed, and happy workforce.

About the Author: Martin Brandt

Martin Brandt is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer for JamAngle.