“Without a sense of purpose, no company, either public or private, can achieve its full potential.” Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, Inc., 2018
The 2018 World Value Index records that 91% of people value living life with a sense of purpose as important to them. This had increased from 80% in 2016. The significance of purposeful lives is reflected in the way Millennials and Gen Z spend and earn their income. 91% of Millennials would switch brands to one associated with a cause (Cone/Porter Novelli, 2015); and Gen Z are three times more likely to say that the purpose of a business is to “serve communities and society” rather than to simply “make good products and services” (BBMG & Globe Scan, 2019). When individuals find such purposeful work, where their job has a “special meaning” beyond “just a job”, they are four times more likely to give extra effort, 11 times more committed to staying with their organisations and 14 times more likely to look forward to coming to work than employees at peer companies (Great Place to Work, 2017).
“Consumers act as a champion of brands they believe in – and foils to those they don’t.” Accenture, 2018 Purpose-led brands have the potential to create stronger and more resilient customer relationships. Meeting the needs of our customers is more important now with the advent of social media. Individuals are now becoming producers of their own content, and subsequently using this platform to voice what they value and devalue in products and services. They are actively engaging with businesses; therefore businesses need to suit the agenda of their consumers to place themselves in a marketable position. 72% of consumers say they feel it is more important than ever to buy from companies that reflect their values; 79% of consumers are more loyal to purpose-led brands; 78% would tell others about them; and, 73% would share content on these brands (Cone/Porter Novelli, 2019).
Earlier this year, Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock (which has approximately US$7 trillion under management) told his shareholders “purpose is the engine of long-term profitability.” The DDI 2018 Global Leadership Forecast stated that actively purposeful businesses will outperform the market by 42%, versus organisations with a purpose statement only performing at the mean, and organisations without a purpose statement underperforming by 42%. A strong and active purpose raises employee engagement, acts as a unifier, and makes customers more loyal and committed to engaging with you. Purposeful work increases workforce productivity, well-being and loyalty and people are seeking such meaningful purpose-led work, even if it means sacrificing a portion of income. Nine out of 10 people are willing to earn less money to do more meaningful work (Better Up, 2019). And according to LinkedIn, 74% of its members want jobs that offer a sense of purpose. Being a purpose-driven business can shape morals, values, visions, goals, and outcomes of that business. Going beyond the business purpose statement and actively pursuing a purpose driven business can be key to achieving long-term positive outcomes.
Accenture. (2018). From Me to We: The Rise of the Purpose-Led Brand. Retrieved from https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/strategy/brand-purpose?c=acn_glb_purposeaccenture_10938742&n=otc_0419 Achor, S., Reece, A., Kellerman, G.R., Robichaux, A. (2018). 9 Out of 10 People Are Willing to Earn Less Money to Do More Meaningful Work. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2018/11/9-out-of-10-people-are-willing-to-earn-less-money-to-do-more-meaningful-work BBMG and Globe Scan. (2019). The GenZ Reckoning: Brand Relevance, Respect and the Rise of a New Generation. Retrieved from https://genzreckoning.com/ Cone/Porter Novelli. (2015). Cone Communications Millennial CSR Study. Retreived from https://www.conecomm.com/research-blog/2015-cone-communications-millennial-csr-study Cone/Porter Novelli. (2019). Gen Z Purpose Study. Retrieved from https://www.conecomm.com/research-blog/cone-gen-z-purpose-study DDI. (2018). Global Leadership Forecast. Retrieved from https://www.ddiworld.com/research/global-leadership-forecast-2018 ENSO. (2018). World Value Index: How People Perceive Brands’ Purpose. Retrieved from https://www.enso.co/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/World-Value-Index-2018-Brand-Report-enso.pdf Fink, L. (2018). A Sense of Purpose. Retrieved from https://www.blackrock.com/corporate/investor-relations/2018-larry-fink-ceo-letter Fink, L. (2020). A Fundamental Reshaping of Finance. Retrieved from https://www.blackrock.com/corporate/investor-relations/larry-fink-ceo-letter Great Place to Work. (2017). Three Predictions for the Workplace Culture of the Future. Retrieved from https://www.greatplacetowork.com/images/reports/Fortune_100_Report_2017_FINAL.pdf Imperative and LinkedIn. (2016). Global Report: Purpose at Work. Retrieved from https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/business/en-us/talent-solutions/resources/pdfs/purpose-at-work-global-report.pdf