The Power of Purpose: How Companies Can Generate Loyalty and Success.

You may think that 'purpose' sounds like just another flavour in the ice cream parlour of business jargon, but it’s time to think again. Businesses all over the world are waking up to the realisation that purpose is a power to be reckoned with.

But every business has its purpose, you say, to make a profit and then a bigger one. That’s true, as far as it goes. But the pursuit of profit alone is a blind project, destined ultimately to deliver diminishing returns.

Today’s business visionaries understand that there is much more to the psychology, culture and performance of a business. To scale the heights of success, you need to be driven by purpose.

Put simply, that means adopting a broader, holistic vision of your values, ethics and aims. It means having a bold, far-reaching mission statement, clearly defining both your commercial objectives and your wider developmental and environmental goals. It demands an ambition not simply to be the best but to make the biggest difference. It calls for an acknowledgement that every company exists in both the micro and the macro.

In its micro form it is reducible to the sum of its employees, which are its greatest resource and could be its greatest evangelists or its disengaged drones. In its macro form it walks on the world stage where it can make an indelible mark for good, for ill or for indifference.

If those are the choices then surely there is no choice at all. A purpose-driven company willingly accepts its place in the wider context, where it must engage with eco concerns, social responsibility, sustainable business practice and technological innovation.

There are cynical businesses who will fly the flag of purpose in the naked pursuit of PR success, but their cynicism can’t be sustained and the hollowness of their pose will be exposed sooner or later. Genuinely purpose-driven companies will perform better and last much longer, because their business has ‘soul’.

It shouldn’t be surprising that a company with an identifiable program of commendable aims will be far more attractive to consumers - and potential hires - as a result. We’ve seen huge shifts in consumer trends away from businesses whose treatment of employees, contractors and suppliers appears unfair, if not unethical. Similarly, companies that make sustainability and environmental protection part of their business model and their consumer offer are reaping the economic benefits of being on the right side of consumer opinion. That may have started with the utilities companies but it has since spread across the whole economy.

These are benefits quantifiable in terms of profit and market share. But there are huge advantages to be found within company structures as well. Significant research shows that on average some 75% of employees in purpose-driven companies feel engaged and committed to their employers’ project compared to less than 25% in companies where there is no discernible purpose beyond the pursuit of profit. For employees, the idea of purpose can be a more diverse concept than for consumers.

Naturally it includes social and environmental matters, which have never been more pressing on the public consciousness. But it also encompasses an employee’s sense of worth, well-being and capacity to contribute. If they are excited by their company’s ideas, prospects and journey, they will more readily develop a sense of loyalty, engagement and commitment. They will work harder and better, partly because they are appreciated but also because they can feel pride in their involvement. It could be the development of life-changing innovation, planet-saving practices or technology, a fair and just way of conducting business or simply an inspired and inspiring new way of doing things - if there is vision there can be purpose.

If you want to know how to carry your staff with you on your company’s purpose-driven journey then you should talk to the recruitment experts at 4zero. Purpose-driven ourselves, we have shared the benefits of our own experience with our existing clients: now let us help you. Putting purpose first is absolutely key to building and maintaining the best possible workforce.

Call us today on +44 208 089 8300 or email us at

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