Make employees hungry to deliver on your purpose: Our People Activation guide
By: Abi Humayun

We all know by now that having a purpose is good for your business. In the words of Simon Sinek, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. This means that companies that have a powerful purpose perform better than companies that don’t.

Having a clarity of purpose and an emotional connection to it is proven to boost an individuals' life expectancy, health and reduces stress.* This obviously has a positive impact on the businesses that they work for. For a business, having a strong purpose helps to attract & retain talent. So, if we know why this is all so important. What steps can we take to ensure employees are hungry to contribute towards your purpose?

1. Inspire:

Make sure you have a great narrative that communicates the impact you wish to make [your purpose]; show the external view, the human need and how you are filling the gap. As Mark Manson discusses in his book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck”, people only have so many things in their life that they can actually care about. So create a compelling narrative and weave the narrative into the fabric of your business interactions, such as recruitment, induction, ongoing reviews and which charities you choose to support. By doing this, your purpose will feel truly authentic and your people will be inspired to deliver on it.

2. Involve:

Uncover the stories from within your organisation that make your purpose real for others to see. Some, if not all, of your people are probably already living the purpose they just don’t realise it yet! Showcase powerful stories that demonstrate exactly how your people are contributing regardless of role or seniority in the company.

I’ll give you an example of this in action… A couple of years ago, we were collecting stories to support a global organisation who wished to bring to life their purpose for their employees. Having created the platform and the campaign to uncover these stories we received one from an employee telling us that they were proud of the fact they supported the world transplant games, a worldwide organisation celebrating successful transplantation and the gift of life. We knew we had to share this story so we invited a young transplant recipient and ‘world champion cup stacker’ to show the employees the difference they’d made to him, including a fun live cup stacking challenge that made the story interactive. Consider how you could bring your real stories to life to make them engaging and memorable for your audience.

3. Drive actions:

Get people hands on with it! Show how powerful it is when you use the purpose to guide decisions and develop new ideas. The most impactful purpose communications involve people. Don’t just launch and expect them to flourish – assign champions within your teams. How about setting “purpose challenges” that your teams have to fulfil and are a fun way of getting employee input and increasing buy-in!

Break it down into tangible steps and actions that employees can take.

Ensure your values encourage the right mindsets and behaviours amongst team members and that your senior teams are leading by example in supporting these values.

Ordering the messages so everyone within your organisation is clear on how your purpose-driven strategy connects is vital. It is best to make this as simple and visual as possible.

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Categories: Thought Leadership