Your company exists for a reason: The founders saw a problem in the world and they came up with a profitable solution. For employees at the top levels of the company, this may be obvious; they probably know exactly what their job is working to solve. Employees who are farther down the line may not be so lucky. In fact, an alarming 61% of employees don’t even know what their company’s mission statement is.
That’s where company culture comes to the rescue. Apart from sending out your mission statement in a memo, work culture is a great way to communicate purpose to employees.
#1: Communicate or Define Your Company’s Values
Part of knowing your purpose at work is knowing what your company stands for. In an ideal work culture, the values the company stands for will reflect the values the employees stand for. That’s part of why hiring for cultural fit is so essential. When a company already has strongly defined values, hiring someone who doesn’t fit means they have no purpose or connection to their work.
Even for those companies that have already set up their core values, the employees may not be aware. According to a recent Gallup study, 59% of employees do not know what their company stands for and what makes its brand different from its competitors’. An easy fix is to make value training part of the onboarding process for new employees. For the other employees, offer a refresher via email or during a meeting.
However, some companies, especially newer ones, may not have defined values. If that applies to you, don’t panic: It’s never too late! The easiest way is to send out a company-wide survey with a list of values to choose from. Have employees go through and select the values that they think define the company, and work from there.
#2: Define Your Impact
Your company doesn’t need to be a non-profit dedicated to feeding the homeless to make a positive impact in the world. Part of that goes back to why the company was started in the first place: What problem was it born to solve, or what need was it created to fill? According to a 2015 survey, 73% of Millennials believe businesses have a positive impact on wider society; they just need to know what that impact is.
A low level employee at a SaaS firm may think their company’s goal is just to sell the product. They may not know that the founders created the software to aid non-profits in managing their accounts, or to help HR initiatives succeed in making the workplace better for everyone.
Whatever your company’s mission or purpose is, take some time to write down the positive impact it’s making on the world. Include concrete, tangible examples that the employee can feel proud to have contributed to. Communicate it to your employees and then include it your onboarding process moving forward.
#3: Encourage Meaningful Connections
One of the foundations of a purpose-driven work culture is workers who support and care about each others’ personal growth. That means the support and connections should not only be between employees, but also between employees and upper management. This is vital to becoming a cohesive, purpose-driven work culture. A survey of global workers even found that 26% said discussing success with colleagues motivates them.
Like everything else, this begins with cultural fit. Finding employees who mesh well together and have similar work styles means that it’s easier for them to connect on their own. Upper management and HR teams don’t have to work to make teams and departments bond: It will happen naturally over time. Mutual support and encouragement between employees will drive a purpose-centered work culture at its core.
The power of work culture isn’t easily overstated: A strong, united force of workers can achieve wonders in business and in the world. Helping them connect and achieve greatness is ClearCompany’s purpose. From candidate sourcing to performance management, we provide the tools for an HR department to be successful.