The first step we ask every single Engagement Multiplier client to make is to create an Engaged Purpose. It’s so important that we can’t do our work without it. This is the statement that paves the way towards emotionally connecting with each employee, on a personal level. It gives meaning to every task they undertake, and since your employees are your most valuable asset, their happiness should be your highest priority.
In this series, we’ll explain step-by-step how to craft your Engaged Purpose and how to use it to bring your team into alignment, and as a compass for every decision you make for the future of your company.
Defining an Engaged Purpose
Today’s task includes writing your first draft. But first you will want to truly understand what an Engaged Purpose is.
What is an Engaged Purpose?
An Engaged Purpose is a written statement that clearly communicates to your team what your company does and why. It details the transformation you are trying to create and provides a structure that will inspire your team to align their daily activities with your company’s larger aspirations.
As Stefan Wissenbach says, “When you create big enough ‘why’ for people, they will become emotionally involved in finding a ‘how.’”
What an Engaged Purpose is not
It is not a mission statement or a vision statement. Those tend to be written for a business’s customers, rather than for the employees (and most customers don’t care).
Learn more about this from our previous post outlining why so many people get an engaged purpose wrong.
Thoughts to consider before writing your first draft
A common mistake Founders and CEOs make is to assume that they can single-handedly come up with their Engaged Purpose statement off the tops of their heads. After all, they understand their company better than anyone else! Well, you’re right – your purpose begins with you, as does Engagement. Both require a strong leader.
But your Engaged Purpose isn’t something you should rattle off. To really work, it has to touch the heart and be at the core of everything you do and say.
To begin the brainstorming process, write down your answers to these 7 questions:
1. As the owner of the organization, what are you most passionate about? What aspects of your company and job energize you?
2. Why did you start your business in the first place?
3. Where do you see it going in the future?
4. Why do you think your employees come to work each day? What do you think motivates them – besides a paycheck?
5. What is unique about your organization? Is it how you do business? Your location or community? The customers you serve and interact with?
6. Who are the customers or individuals your organization helps? What is unique about them? What makes them an ideal fit for you?
7. What is the end result – the impact – of the work you do on your customers? What positive change or transformation do you help to create?
Writing your first draft Purpose statement
Using the answers from the above questions, you can now sit down to write that first draft. Don’t worry, you’ve already done the hard work; now we’re just putting the pieces together.
Your Engaged Purpose should include:
1. What you do
2. Why you do it
3. How you do it
4. Big Goal (what you’d like for the future of your company)
Your format can vary, and don’t worry if what you come up with seems too long – we’ll refine it later. But if you need a template, try this:
We [what you do], because [why you do it]. We do this by [How you do it]. Our ultimate goal is to [Big, ambitious goal].
When coming up with your Why, consider carefully your answer to question #7 above. The greatest rallying cry you can offer your team is the promise that what they do measurably improves someone’s life. It’s that kind of emotional pull that creates engagement and produces the best possible quality of work – and quality of life.
In the next article in this series, we’ll show you how to refine your statement with input from your Leadership Team.