Does Your Business Have a True Purpose?

As the story goes, on a visit to NASA in the 1960’s President Kennedy asked one of its janitors what he was doing there.  The janitor confidently looked up and replied, “I’m helping to put a man on the moon, Mr. President.”

True or not, this story illustrates a point. The janitor saw his job as having a purpose. He saw himself contributing to a common goal and he was proud of what he was doing.

But a great deal of people don’t feel this way at all.

After a 2013 survey by Deloitte, it was found that a huge amount of employees didn’t believe their company had a clear purpose, or at least one they really identified with. In fact, just 28% of employees agreed that their company’s purpose was part of the reason they chose to work there. Not great!

The study concluded that “businesses are not doing enough to deliver meaningful impact to all stakeholders.”

Which is kind of a problem. Without meaning, people quickly lose belief and motivation in what they’re doing.


Why Having Purpose Matters

Some companies get it right. The likes of Apple, Google and Facebook make absolutely certain that their employees understand where the business is going and what it stands for. It’s etched into the DNA of everybody who works there.

Apparently, this is the email that Apple employees receive on their first day in the job.


This kind of philosophy is one of the reasons people want to work for these kind of companies – because they each create a unique culture that everyone understands and buys into.

That’s pretty powerful stuff.

And when a business has a clearly defined purpose, another thing happens: it gives employees belief. 

In a follow up survey by Deloitte this year, people who identified their company as having a “strong sense of purpose” had far more belief and confidence about future success.


You don’t have to be a rocket scientist (a job with a clear purpose if ever there was one!) to work out optimistic, confident employees are more likely to do a better job.

But the survey proved something else pretty amazing.

It found that 89% of employees who felt their company had purpose agreed with the statement, “Clients trust that we will deliver the highest quality products and services.”

That’s a hugely impressive number.

And when it comes to any sales-driven industry, that kind of confidence is crucial. Obviously, when your teams are out “selling” the station every day they need to have belief in what they’re doing. If they don’t, guess what? Their clients definitely won’t.

What’s the Purpose of your Business?

Okay, so we can all pretty much agree that the purpose of any business is to make money. But it’s absolutely not the only reason for it to exist.

And it’s definitely not the thing that will get your employees leaping out of bed to come work for you every day. So, let’s assume making money is a given and get a bit more ambitious.

Defining the purpose of your business takes time. It takes honesty. And it might involve asking a few uncomfortable, but fundamental questions.

At Radio Results International, we can guide you through this process and help you get to the heart of the matter.

Asking the Right Questions

What do your employees think the purpose of the businesses is? The only way you’ll find out is to ask them.

Do they understand the long-term vision? Do they feel the business has a clear identity and is this communicated effectively? What projects are they currently working on? And what difference will that project make to the company and its clients?

When you get an answer, keeping asking that person why they think that way. Follow this chain long enough and you should eventually arrive at your company’s mission statement.

The more information you gather the more you’ll understand what motivates and inspires your team to greatness.


Courage to Change

Once you’ve recognised the key motivations of your employees and the reason your business exists, you can start to put a few changes in place. Here are a few initial suggestions:

  • Create a purpose statement that reflects your employees’ key motivations. This should be agreed on by the whole team. Your purpose statement will help drive behaviour and create engagement.
  • Create a consistent employee brand experience. This should explain the need for change and will help to create transparent communication in the organisation. Drive the changes through the business. Walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
  • Create  “Purpose Ambassadors”. The task of each ambassador is to implement new ideas, suggest changes, promote the purpose and measure its impact and develop new initiatives.

So there you have it. With these few simple steps, you could end up making some pretty major changes to your company’s growth and its stakeholders lives.

With this focus on purpose you can expect a happier and more engaged team along with a more successful business.

To find out how Radio Results International can help you define and create purpose with our dedicated “purpose and potential” development plan get in touch today.

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