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Evolve Your Culture With Purpose

Posted on Categories Culture/Employee Engagement, Organizational Change/Alignment, PurposeTags

Culture drives everything you do in your business and, in order to meet the objectives you have set out for yourself, it’s imperative that those who work for you are clear on the kind of culture you seek to create.

To ensure intentions are explicitly expressed and adhered to, start your culture projects devising and solidifying your purpose statement. Start here to more clearly set expectations for employee behavior, clarify the kind of impact you want to have on employees, make better choices on cultural actions to take, attract people who share the same values you do, and galvanize employees in pursuit of an outstanding organization.

Clarify Your Impact

Business leaders tend to think about what they want from their employees. They want them to give their all and to show up every day with enthusiasm. They want employees to trust leadership and be loyal to the organization. These are all outcomes, and they only come about when employees have the right conditions to support them in being and doing their best at work. 

The conditions are created by first getting clear on what you want for your employees and the impact you seek to have on their lives. Purpose can define where you are headed as an organization and the kind of impact you seek to make on the world. Since employees are part of that world, with some focused attention, you can define the kind of future you want your employees to have. Purpose can inform how you want employees to feel at work every day and what you want them to be able to achieve as a result of working with your organization. 

This gives employees a feeling of belonging — they know “what’s in it for them” working at your organization beyond just a paycheck. When you can express to employees how they should get to feel at work every day, it makes it much easier to measure whether you’re meeting the mark and adjusting your activities accordingly. You also set the stage for stronger bonds and increased engagement with employees.

Set expectations

Historically, businesses have been clear on the basics of what to expect from people. These expectations are in dense employee handbooks that get shared in onboarding. But these rules do little to express how organizations want people to show up and do their work each day. This lack of explicit behavioral expectation can create cultural confusion as each team develops its own way of doing things. This can lead some people or groups to be seen as “culture destroyers.” Not because they are intending to act in such a way, but because there are no checks on their way of operating and no standards by which to measure them.

With purpose as our platform and foundation, you can create behavioral intentions for your organization. When these behaviors are widely adopted, you can point employees in the direction of “how we do things around here” and that can lead to culture-wide conversations about what the behaviors mean in action. If someone isn’t living up to those expectations, it’s easier to address them with the clearly defined behaviors they’ve agreed to work on and work with. This is where company culture really comes alive. When each person upholds the expectations set forth, you can start to see major shifts in the cohesiveness of your culture.

Identify actions to take

One of the most fun parts of culture-building is activating new rituals, processes, and programs within an organization. The hard part, however, is designing efforts that are engaging and on-strategy. Organizations tend to have disjointed and mish-mashed approaches to culture-building. Without a solid foundation from which to build, efforts may not engage employees. People may be asking, “Why are we doing this … again?” It’s hard to understand what all these events and activities mean and why it’s important that they engage with them.

Purpose helps you create aligned, authentic efforts. If you can tie all of your efforts to this purpose, you start to shape up events and programs that have real meaning and value. Employees come to understand the purpose in a completely different way, and an embodied and tangible experience within the culture. Their sentiments about the organization shift and they feel more connected to their work. This leads to better outcomes with all external stakeholders, who have energized and aligned experiences to the communications you share about the organization.

Build camaraderie

Traditional mission, vision and values statements, usually point to serving customers and shareholders, or to being the best in class. By framing up statements in this way, some people realize they contribute more to the mission in tangible ways, while others are relegated to a “lesser than” or “support” position. 

You need a purpose that increases coherence, and gives everyone at your organization a sense of participating in some great effort, not statements that divide employees into the ones who are more or less important because of their role in the organization. Galvanize employees around the power of your purpose, and watch as they feel more inspired, motivated, and fulfilled at work. Each person will feel part of something bigger than themselves and will want to contribute their best and highest every day. When everyone is working together, and for the same purpose, there is a deep sense of belonging. And, your culture is instilled with energy and vibrance. 

In any effort you undertake, where you start has everything to do with where you end up. If you want to create a meaningful organizational culture that leads to greater success for your business, you need a rich ground to grow from. By rooting into purpose, you create a platform for motivating, uniting and empowering employees, which leads to the kind of culture that makes all that you hope for possible in the world. 


Photo by Headway on Unsplash

Featured Resource:

Learn the eight critical mindshifts that ignite purpose-led organizations in our latest e-book: Mindshifts on the Path to Purpose

Mindshifts on the Path to Purpose Book cover

Avatar photoSavage Brands believes in unleashing the good inherent within all organizations. Business results are driven by connecting with people at the belief level. That’s why we align everything a company says and does with its Purpose through a proven process that links strategy and execution with “why.” We solve the challenges corporate America faces by building tribal loyalty from the inside out, focusing on people first to deliver authentic brand experiences. Savage builds purposeful brands, communications, leaders and cultures.