Ironically and perhaps hopefully, a corporate purpose may never be fulfilled completely. Purpose is a company’s reason for existing. Companies that have stood as repeatedly successful and admirable institutions have purposes that state what they intend to give to — rather than receive from — the communities they serve.
So, is purpose just a lofty statement, engraved in brass and hung on a boardroom wall? Is it really removed from the day-to-day engagement we’ve been discussing these past posts?
The more employees and teams encounter their company’s purpose, the sharper their awareness of what the business is really about. Survey after survey demonstrates that employees who truly comprehend their organization’s purpose, more readily engage in their specific tasks and functions, and therefore achieve objectives. It’s not necessary to stress the benefits such engagement produces. A clear and meaningful purpose, iterated and reiterated in a variety of media and messages, empowers team engagement among employees. (Check our webinar: Transform Your Business…)
The more managers engage the connection between work they supervise and the company purpose, the more meaningful (and powerful) their conversations with leaders and with employees. The managers’ engagement is the critical link between the purpose defined and expressed by leadership and carried out by employees/teams. Management engagement is two-way: managers engage in conversation with leaders to hear, question, understand, and own the purpose; they engage in conversation with employees to express, clarify, and relate the purpose to specific expectations.
The more leaders attend (and value) the impact of a powerful purpose — not just stated but lived — on their organization, the more powerful that impact will be. Such attention is engagement. Leaders hold the responsibility of continuously considering the business purpose. Fulfilling such responsibility is critical leadership engagement. The questions they ask of the purpose may include
- What is our purpose for now and for the future?
- Has our purpose changed unintentionally in the past years?
- Does our situation (market, economy, product, technology) require that we re-evaluate, perhaps revise, our purpose?
- Is our purpose relevant and valuable?
- Does it make us a company worth working for?
Frequently, regularly asking and answering such questions are valuable engagements.
Please check our webinar, Tuesday, July 12: