How to Build a Purpose-Driven Culture for Today's Top Talent

How to Build a Purpose-Driven Culture for Today’s Top Talent

As we move into the second quarter of 2022, employers are still feeling the effects of the Great Resignation, and employees are consistently seeking new opportunities – despite the wake of uncertainty surrounding the business community with pandemic closures, new and evolving mandates, and ongoing spikes of Covid variants.

The massive shift in employee aspirations and employer expectations goes deeper than the desire to work remotely for good, it spans to common feelings of being unheard, the demand for better benefits, and the need for increased work life balance.

Millennials and Gen Z workers currently represent the largest groups of social activists. These core groups are looking to work for companies who understand and support their passion for life, or companies who can effectively create a product or culture of purpose that they can support for the long term.

It’s daunting to think you must change your tactics to attract the most prominent demographics in the modern workforce, but it’s important to remember that a company with a strong sense of purpose and clearly defined mission will resonate with every generation.

Employees who feel like they are making a difference in their communities, or even in their sphere of influence, will feel empowered to perform better and will stay with a company longer, regardless of age. In fact, studies show that purpose-driven companies achieve an average of 10% greater growth. Establishing purpose isn’t just about doing good for your community, it’s also good for business.

Today, recruiters are seeing candidates of all ages ask about a company’s connection to its community and social issues. When a candidate declines a role, their reasoning is typically something along the lines of: “no thanks, that work just doesn’t excite me,” “I can’t picture myself doing that long term,” or “I’d prefer something that does something more meaningful.”

These candidates are looking for more than just a paycheck. They want to work for a company that they are excited about; one that is doing good things and has a stimulating work culture. Ultimately, candidates are looking for something that connects them to a higher purpose.

 

How Do You Create Purpose?

Brands that have established their business as a purpose-driven company from the beginning are reaping the benefits in today’s workforce, with the cream-of-the-crop job candidates sending in unsolicited applications.

Companies that haven’t defined their purpose often find themselves fighting to attract and retain top talent. These businesses should actively listen to what candidates are asking for and act accordingly. In many cases, these changes will extend beyond a vison or mission statement. Purpose can come from an organization’s culture, work, or commitment to corporate and social responsibility.

Start by understanding what motivates you and your team to do what you do. Ask yourself what value your company creates for customers, or how your product or offering changes the world for better. Then, work to ensure your corporate culture and branding reflect these values to the candidates you hope to hire.

It’s crucial for companies to incorporate their core values into the recruiting and interview process. When searching for a potential new hire, it’s not only important to find someone who possesses the right skills for the job, but it’s also crucial that they are a good cultural fit for the organization. To find purpose-driven employees, start with a job listing that clearly outlines your company’s value proposition. Add one or two questions to the application that require candidates to define their purpose, and during the interview ask candidates about those values.

Once hired, new employees should be properly introduced to your organization’s mission and core values through the onboarding process. Higher rates of retention have been correlated with longer onboarding processes that create deeper meaning and engagement from the outset. And as remote work has become increasingly common, meaningful onboarding and engagement are more crucial than ever.

 

Creating Engagement

If you feel that engagement is difficult – if not impossible – to achieve, rest assured that you’re not alone, and trust that it’s more than possible.  KPMG, one of the Big Four public accounting firms, saw incredible benefits from an initiative designed to inspire their workforce to engage on a deeper level, allowing them to experience the firm’s higher purpose firsthand. The initiative, called the 10,000 Stories Challenge, asked employees to create posters that define how their role in the company has helped shape history. They also added an incentive of an additional two paid days off at the end of the year if they met their goal of 10,000 story submissions. The results surpassed their own expectations, with over 42,000 submissions and company surveys showing higher morale scores, lower turnover rates, and better annual fiscal returns.

Purpose can also come from outside the organization. Sponsoring a local charity or cause that your employees can come together and support is a great example of purposeful engagement outside of work. Another way to promote purpose is by providing personal development opportunities. For some companies, this can come in the form of a “personal development fund” that each employee can draw from to support causes or activities of their choice. Perhaps they use the fund to support the social issues that are important to them or use it for self-improvement like paying for an art class, an entrance fee for a marathon, or continuing education courses.

 

Celebrating the Wins

Once you’ve recruited hired and onboarded candidates that are in line with your company’s purpose, and taken time to develop your employee engagement strategy, it’s important to openly celebrate your employees’ wins to further reinforce the importance of their contributions.

One way to accomplish this is by conducting regular all-hands meetings or sending out a company newsletter. This provides an opportunity to reinforce the company’s purpose, discuss important goals and initiatives, share key performance results, and emphasize each employee’s role in the company’s success. Not only do employees want to feel like they are partners in making the business successful, but they also want to know their voices have been heard and that their efforts matter.

 

About Gava Talent Solutions

Gava Talent Solutions provides temporary and full-time staffing, executive search, and recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) services to connect you with top talent in 170+ countries. Whether you are looking to fill a specific position, or focused on rapidly addressing high volume staffing needs, we have a solution for you. Our team of experienced recruiters and our extensive global networks allow us to provide high quality candidates in a fraction of the time. With Gava Talent, you have a global staffing partner capable of addressing your hiring needs anytime, anywhere.

Authored by Pam Clawson – Director, Talent Solutions

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