Creating a Purpose-Driven Organisation: The Importance of Values in the Development of People Processes
Engaging People in the Organisation’s Purpose and Vision and Changing How We Think About Recruitment
An organisation’s values and purpose should be the foundation for all its people processes. An authentic higher purpose is what gives employees a sense of belonging and a sense of meaning, and is crucial to engaging people in their work and the organisation’s vision. Indeed, your organisation’s values define what you are, for they give meaning to what you do.
How do we define an organisation’s values? Put simply, they are the core beliefs and principles that guide organisational practices, decisions, and actions. When an organisation has strong corporate values, it helps them attract top talent, and deliver purpose that drives performance ─ which in turn fuels growth.
The question now is, how do you build a purpose-driven organisation, and what is the impact on recruitment?
Three steps to creating a purpose-driven organisation
As reported in the Harvard Business Review, organisations that put purpose at the heart of their organisation “redefine the playing field, and it allowed them to reshape the value proposition. And that, in turn, enabled them to overcome the challenges of slowing growth and declining profitability.”
However, purpose isn’t only about boosting the bottom line. It’s about authenticity, commitment, and values that motivate increased employee engagement. It serves to envision an inspired workforce of inspired energisers. Andrew Hoffman of the University of Michigan explains how employees may have greater belief in an organisation’s stated purpose:
“If you say your firm’s purpose is to improve people’s environment but have no rewards for actually improving the environment, then improving the environment isn’t your company’s purpose.”
Three steps to embedding values in an organisation and purpose to permeate through day-to-day operations are:
- Find and know your higher organisational purpose
- Have a vision for how you will deliver on your purpose
- Connect people to the purpose
At Primeast, we have a model called PrimeFocus™. Under this model, it’s crucial that an organisation knows and understands its purpose – why are they here on Earth, what are they doing for the larger marketplace, what is it they do that makes a long-term difference, and how do they deliver on their purpose to create engaged employees to deliver a fulfilling prophecy?
A vision is a mental image of what the future can be. It can be a single powerful idea, or it can be many small things that work together to create a vision. The vision of an organisation is often described in its mission statement. The mission statement should answer the question, ‘Why does this organisation exist?’ and ‘What does this organisation hope to achieve?’
Business leaders need to connect with their employees on a more personal level and provide them with a sense of purpose.
People need to understand the organisation’s values and how it affects them. They should have a clear understanding of what they are working on and why. This can be achieved in many ways, but it is critical to provide people with the necessary information and give them the opportunity to contribute to organisational decisions.
It’s also crucial to lead by example, and ensure that people understand and practice behaviours associated with the organisation’s values.
Every opportunity that exists to share, embed and connect organisational purpose should be taken. This starts with creating the structures that align with values and allow the sharing of our purpose and continues in every meeting, event, one-to-one, training and coaching session, etc.
How do you know you have created a purpose-driven organisation?
Leaders will want to make sure that they are delivering values and purpose in a way that is sustainable for the company. They will want to be certain that their people are happy and fulfilled in their work, that they feel empowered, and bring intrinsic energy and value to the company. When all these things are in place – when everyone is rowing in the same direction – results will be seen in business outcomes.
So, why is all this important for recruitment?
“In order to recruit effectively, we must have all these things in place – and be able to articulate this in today’s world to bring people on board and then to onboard them effectively,” says Beth Williamson.
People today are more certain about what they believe in. They have more opportunities to work with employers who align with their own values and purpose. And they are less forgiving of those employers who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.
With this in mind, organisations must change how they think about employment. They must shift from employing people to do tasks to employing people who have the foundations to enhance and benefit the organisation’s purpose and align with its values. You cannot do this effectively unless your values, purpose, and vision are in place.
Fast-forward five years. What will have happened for you to be able to look back and see the current challenges as the greatest gift?
Take the PrimeFocus™ Mini Assessment to start your journey today to discover a snapshot of where you stand in the eight conditions that must be in place and aligned to deliver prime performance.