Creating a Business with a Purpose
Businesses that have a purpose other than generating profits and economic value for the owners and stakeholders should explain how everyone that’s involved in the business itself, is making a difference. This way, companies are able to give everyone a sense of meaning and get a lot more support.
When a company is able to embrace its purpose, it’s usually during or following a crisis, which makes the business leaders change and encourages them to experiment with different approaches. However, waiting for a crisis and initiating changes then is not necessary when looking to create a business with a purpose.
At its core, a business creates a work contract between the employer and the employee that states the employee will work for the company in exchange for money. However, without additional values and purpose, the employee is likely to underperform in their work, unless the company itself places incentives and systems that will counteract that result.
Having a workforce that takes ownership of its work, in other words, having employees that see how their work is valuable to the company itself, their own environment, and the company’s consumers inspires the workforce. It also leads to an engaged working environment where everyone involved with the company cares about its outcomes, instead of simply focusing on the monetary value that the work normally brings.
Defining a company’s purpose isn’t always easy, as it entails looking beyond the profits that the business usually stands for. Fortunately, this purpose already exists with companies, and it can be discovered through empathy and understanding the biggest needs that the employees have in common. This involves asking questions, listening, and reflecting on whether the answers align with the company’s purpose.
Furthermore, companies that have a bigger purpose than making profits can increase the employees’ commitment and focus, which is why one of the best places to look for that purpose is with the people that are already giving the business their own time and efforts.
Although “business purpose” has become a bit of a buzzword lately, it’s important for that purpose to be paired with authenticity for those values to really ring true to everyone involved. If a company goes out of its way to make grandiose statements, but it doesn’t follow through with those intrinsic values, the people involved with the business, specifically the employees and the consumers, are going to become a lot more cynical, which impacts the company’s bottom line.
When a company knows its purpose, and sticks with it through important business decisions, people will understand that, and are going to support those choices even more, which leads to more positive outcomes. Not only does this make the business appear more trustworthy, but it also leads to people consciously becoming consumers because they agree with the company’s values, purpose, and business decisions.