People employed by organisations seek and value a sense of purpose as much as those who are at the hierarchical top-end of organisations. Research indicates that employees are increasingly placing a greater emphasis on feeling a sense of purpose in their workplace as the relationship balance between work values and life values increasingly merge together. People want to feel proud of their work and their part in a greater team effort. When their individual role is clearly aligned to a greater purpose they are prepared to work harder and smarter to achieve the greater cause. Also, when you have a core purpose which articulates your point of difference, it also enables your survival in a competitive market.
Notonthehighstreet is a company which aligns to this ethos. Recently they have features ‘pop up shops’ to tie together online and offline customer experiences, and uses ‘community’ as its point of difference. This isn’t just a conceptual approach to strategy and leadership. Last year Notonthehighstreet saw its annual turnover hit £155m, up from £127m in 2014 and has carved a clear niche in the ‘quirky’ gift sector.
So what are the key implications for you as a leader? To maximise the power of a core purpose an organisation needs to adopt a purpose-driven leadership approach which, in turn, will drive customer and employee commitment, trust and loyalty.
Does your organisation have a meaningful core purpose which is known and understood by all? Does it clearly articulate your point of difference both to employees and to customers? Finally, how many employees are emotionally engaged with, and totally committed to, your organisation’s core purpose? If only a minority, then how confident are you that the behaviour of your leadership team is aligned to the core purpose? Making ‘Why?’ the most used word in strategy forums creates challenge and a compelling catalyst for aspirational change.
Related Article: How to develop your company's core purpose