Empowerment through Purpose: Transforming Your Company Culture

“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.” – Howard Schultz, Starbucks

Whether you’re a manufacturer, supplier, nonprofit, or just getting started—having a clear organizational purpose matters. Maybe this sounds squishy to you or non-value-add. But a clear purpose ties directly to your performance.

According to Gallup, when your employees increase their connection to your mission or purpose by just 10%, there is an 8.1% decrease in turnover and 4.4% increase in profitability. That’s significant.

Purpose Driven-Culture

The Benefits of a Clear Purpose

When you and your team members take ownership of your culture and embrace the purpose, you will care more and contribute more in your daily work.

A clear purpose:

  • Attracts customers and differentiates you in the market
  • Boosts employee engagement
  • Guides your decision-making
  • Makes you more resilient in hard times
  • Creates positive ripples of influence with your team, customers, and communities
  • Unifies teams in a clear direction

That’s fantastic—but how do leaders get team members to connect more to the purpose? Statistics show that organizations are having a hard time integrating a clear purpose in their day-to-day. A recent Harvard Business Review study shows that less than 3% of 150,000 Glassdoor reviewers surveyed mentioned their company’s purpose. Yikes.

How to Make Your Organization’s Purpose Real

Your purpose can’t be an empty slogan or snappy statement on your website. It must be lived out. To put feet to your purpose, here are a few practical ideas:

Assess your current state.

Do you know where your organization is at in terms of understanding your purpose, values, and vision? Do you know if your employees like coming to work? Do you know your weaknesses and strengths? Organizational assessment tools and personal surveys can help you gain a clear picture of where things are at.

Create an organizational strategic vision map.

It helps when your team is on the same page. To communicate your vision, mission, and values, create a one-page strategic vision map that outlines why you exist, the way you’re unique, what you do, who you serve, and where you’re going.

Make your map a living document that is communicated often. It can act as a visual reminder and should be updated on a regular basis. A vision map will keep your team aligned and heading in the same direction.

Live by example.

Leaders need to consistently live out the organization’s purpose. Team members need to witness that your mission drives who you are as a company, the way you behave, and how decisions are made.

At DISHER, we use a filter of Mission, Profit, then Growth in how we make business decisions. Leaders must be held accountable to behaving in a way that supports your purpose.

A purpose-driven culture is something that is caught, not taught.

Recognize and reward your team.

Consider tying purpose-driven behaviors into your performance reviews and compensation strategy. Publicly acknowledge when your employees are living out your purpose. Make the why and how of what your teammates do as important as the what.

Every week at DISHER, we try to capture team members’ behavior in ways that support our purpose and values. We call them Ripples of Influence (ROIs). These actions are recorded for the entire team to see, read, and be inspired.

When your employees have a strong sense of purpose, feel good about themselves, and feel good about the organization they work for—they will give you and your customers their best!

Ready to build a purpose-driven culture?

To help you get started, DISHER offers organizational development tools that can provide traction in your journey to developing a purpose-driven culture. We can facilitate an organizational health assessment using the Denison Organizational Culture Survey. The survey provides data on how leaders and teammates are viewing your current culture.

We also guide organizations through Strategic Vision Mapping. This will help you clearly define your why, way, what, and where and move forward in a unified direction. DISHER also offers leadership training and coaching through our sister company, Leading by DESIGN. We balance the training sessions with individual study, practice, and coaching to nurture real growth.

Connect with DISHER to learn how to perform at the next level through meaningful purpose. We also provide complementary one-hour Culture Tours to spark conversation around mission and purpose and inspire you with ideas on how to build a thriving culture.