In recent posts, we’ve discussed why you need to develop a written statement for your staff, articulating your company’s purpose. When you give your team a compelling reason why their work is important, they become emotionally invested in it. When they believe in what they are doing, they become more motivated, more energized – more engaged. But how do you make sure that statement drives real action? How do you stop it from ending up as yet another strategy document that never gets referred to again?
After all, most companies are littered with 3-year plans and marketing strategies, which are launched with great fanfare only to be forgotten within a week, buried under a pile of papers on someone’s desk, never to be seen again.
You do not want your Engaged Purpose to share the same, sad fate.
The first step is to create your purpose statement collaboratively with your team.
Do not be tempted to write your statement alone. The aim is to engage your staff, so seek their input and get their buy-in right from the beginning. Here at Engagement Multiplier, we asked our team what they enjoy about the impact our work has on our customers. We took their answers and came back to them with a first draft of our statement, which we continued to develop based on their feedback.
Next, make sure you are keeping your purpose alive and true to your organization.
Since this is a living, breathing document, we revisit it every 12 months to ensure that it accurately reflects our purpose and continues to resonate. However, of course, if you only look at your purpose once a year, it will never become part of the fabric of your organization.
✔ Make a concerted effort to bring it into the conversation when developing your business strategy, direction, and activities.
✔ Share it widely, discussing it in team meetings.
✔ Bring it up in conversation with your staff, encouraging them to ask questions about it.
✔ Make sure it is visually prominent and officially celebrated now and again.
We find it particularly useful to use the Engaged Purpose as a benchmark to measure how well we’re doing. Are we fulfilling the principles we say we live by, and genuinely integrating them into everything we do?
We ask ourselves this question every year as a company.
On a more micro level, during quarterly reviews, get your line managers to discuss with staff how key parts of their job link to your Engaged Purpose. That way, it moves out of the realm of theory and turns into a rare strategy document which is not only not forgotten and neglected, but an integral part of everything you do.