Sustainability can't simply be bolted onto a business strategy. It needs to be embedded throughout an organization. Here are three ways to do it.
What do Patagonia, Tesla, the Cheeky Panda, and Coldplay all have in common? They have made purpose-driven communication an integral part of their brand. In other words, they effectively communicate their core values through their actions, which align with their environmental and social goals.
Why is purpose-driven communication moving to the top of the list of priorities for brands today? Building solid relationships with consumers is the easy answer. On a global scale, consumers seek out relationships with companies that have a strong purpose etched in their business framework.
But business leaders are discovering what companies like Patagonia have known all along: a purpose-driven work culture strengthens a company from within by:
- Improving productivity
- Reducing turnover
- Driving overall growth
Purpose-driven communication: An inside job
Around 94% of consumers surveyed worldwide agree that it’s important that the companies they support have a strong purpose. That means organizations must reinforce and realign their business goals and brand—and it starts within.
Purpose needs to be ingrained into a company’s culture and daily operations: how it hires new employees, empowers teams, measures KPIs and other performance metrics, and encourages growth in an employee’s skill set.
Purpose-driven communication is rooted in authenticity. Consumers and employees alike will see through mere posturing or words that aren’t backed by real action.
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Recruit with purpose & transparency
When recruiting, be transparent in what your organization offers employees and explain how expectations align with the company’s purpose.
Since around 79% of job seekers check out a company’s mission statement before applying, they can decide if “they want something just like this.”
Clearly communicating your corporate values is particularly important for recruiting Gen Z and Millennial workers. Both generations tend to want work that they feel has a purpose beyond a paycheck.
“To win the hearts of Generation Z, companies and employers will need to highlight their efforts to be good global citizens,” Deloitte analysts wrote. “And actions speak louder than words: Companies must demonstrate their commitment to a broader set of societal challenges such as sustainability, climate change, and hunger.”
Employees who feel their work is meaningful will be more productive and likely to stick around, reducing employee churn.
Do you know how to manage Millennials and Gen Z at work? You should - they already make up almost half the full-time workforce.
Define roles, open doors
As your organization works to clarify its purpose, what skills does that require on every management level?
A clear purpose enables team members to play a role in achieving the company’s goals. And every employee should see themselves as a major contributor to both team and company growth.
Purpose-driven communication, which inspires companies to think about the long-term impact of their brands, is infectious. Employees share that desire, but they need a clear parameter by which to measure progress and thrive.
“A meaningful job title helps your employees measure personal job growth through opportunities to work as a team, learn, lead, share knowledge, contribute unique skills to finding solutions and grow from challenges,” Peter Ord, CEO of GuideCX, wrote in a Forbes post.
An engaging, purpose-driven work environment is a learning environment where the skills acquired today lead to further development in the future.
A positive employee experience helps drive the success of a company, from both a financial and social point of view.
Best marketing ever: Proud employees
When employees feel valued and proud of the work they do, they naturally become your company’s best headline.
“A team of internally motivated brand advocates is more valuable than a handful of paid spokespeople,” Scott Klinger, Earthlink SVP of human resources and marketing, wrote in a Forbes column. “Why? For one, it’s genuine. That goes a long way with someone looking to do business with you.”
Studies show 800% more engagement on posts shared by employees when compared to the same posts shared by official brand accounts. And 84% of consumers value recommendations from friends and family above formal advertising.
Sustainability in business is critical for brand survival as consumers want brands who share their values. For small and midsize businesses - which have no margin for error - it’s especially critical.
Forge a future with purpose-driven communication
When you provide a purpose-driven work environment and experience for your teams, they will see themselves as an integral part of your company’s vision.
Purpose-driven brands rely on people for sustainability and growth. Now’s the time to create a work environment that attracts and engages employees, provides learning opportunities that encourage team cohesion, advancement, and professional growth, and promotes a culture employees are proud to be a part of and share with others.
Soon you’ll have the framework in place for meaningful, purposeful change.
Shine in the moments that matter.
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