The power of purpose when it comes to attracting and retaining employees is so huge. I’ve been reading about ‘purpose’ a lot recently. Both for my own self-awareness and to help me in the art of professional match-making. Most recently I read a really cool article by the guys at Social Talent on companies that are doing this really well – and I decided to collect some of my thoughts here.
Purpose is about ‘why’.
“The purpose of life is a life of purpose”
Why is perhaps the most important question for the human being. It’s something all individuals crave from a young age. You know that stage all toddlers go through where ALL they ask is ‘but why!?’.
It never really stops. Work is no exception:
Purpose means people want to be at work.
I sat with a manager from the retail industry last Friday who had spent nearly 8 years with a retail giant before relocating to Perth. 8 years is a long stint… so I had to ask them ‘why?‘.
The answer: I knew why I was coming to work everyday. I knew our story. I knew what we were about and where I fitted in to our puzzle – I had a purpose. But not just me. All of us – regardless of our role.
This candidate left that company nearly a year ago and still referred to it as ‘our story‘. That means something.
We spoke for over an hour and I’ve never heard anyone sing such praises of their past employer.
It’s been less than a year and they’re looking at a move because their ‘why’ is blank at their new gig.
Purpose needs to be holistic.
Purpose is important at every level – individual, team and organisational. Living and breathing it from the top down is the only sure fire way to hire and keep the best of the best- because it drives business confidence.
Research from Deloitte shows the difference in business confidence among employees within purpose-driven organisations.
When people believe they’re going to perform better they tend to perform better…
When people see awesome things they want to get involved.
Imagine the butterfly effect of that confidence across your WHOLE business.
Purpose drives loyalty.
A kind of loyalty and dedication that benefits or bonuses never will.
If paying your employees more than your competitors is your only lure, are they loyal to your business or to their paycheck?
People aren’t about clocking in and out anymore. People want to be a part of something that makes them feel purposeful.
Purpose attracts better Talent – and helps you keep them!
- There’s evidence that purpose based advertising attracts more suitable candidates than skills based advertising. It’s a huge driver of your employer brand as purpose tends to influence how you search for, select and treat your employees.
- Purpose drives authenticity in an employer brand across the whole organisation. Gone will be the days of staff leaving due to under-delivery of employee experience promised in interview/advertising.
- People that align with and crave to be involved with your purpose will likely go above and beyond to learn the skills-based requirements of their role. Long term they’re more productive in the work place than a disengaged ‘expert’.
Start preaching ‘why’, working for ‘why’, hiring for ‘why’. Start advertising to attract people that resonate with your ‘why’.
Hiring for purpose… a purpose that your whole organisation lives and breathes. It makes real business sense, doesn’t it?
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