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There’s no doubt that the most successful and high performing companies have one thing in common: they are purpose-driven. 


And this is not a fluffy statement or a feel-good kind of blog post. Numbers and statistics don’t lie. According to Imperative’s research, purpose-oriented employees are 54% more likely to remain in your business for more than five years and 30% more likely to be high performers than those who are just motivated by their pay cheque.


Articulating your purpose should not be a “tick the box” type exercise. It all stems from having the vision to guide every business decision along the way, a mission that describes how the vision is executed and a set of values to define who you are and how you operate. 


64% of employees report valuing fulfilment over anything else. They want to feel they contribute to achieving a collective purpose. As human beings, we have an emotional need to connect and this also translates into the workplace. Your employees will be so much more engaged and perform much better if the purpose of the business is aligned with their values and that only happens when a business is able to articulate and foster a culture that lives and breathes their vision, mission and values.


Let’s take Icebreaker’s purpose statement for instance:

“Driven by the belief that nature has the solutions, we provide natural performance alternatives to synthetic-based apparel to create a healthier more sustainable future for our species and the planet”

 After spending a few days with their leadership team, one can really appreciate how passionate they are about what Icebreaker stands for. Or as they say:

“Sustainability isn’t just a feature of our products, it’s in the values and design of our business”

What a purpose statement does to the business is to create a deeper connection through their values, it inspires their people and sets a clear direction that guides every decision they make. 


The natural consequence is a more engaged workforce, who in return, will perform at a much higher level because their personal values are also aligned with the company values. As a result, you can expect:


An increase in the overall sense of confidence and optimism about the future 

According to the Culture of Purpose Study by Deloitte, 82% of both executives and employees who worked for organisations with a strong sense of purpose say they are confident that their organisation will grow this year, compared to 48% of those in companies without a strong sense of purpose.


Increase in trust

You’re more inclined to trust a company with a clearly defined vision, mission and values. When there’s consistency between purpose and business decisions made, it shows integrity in the business and their commitment to their purpose. Employees know where the company stands and engagement skyrockets. 


Increase in your ability to attract the best talent

But not only that, there will be a natural selection where those not aligned with the purpose will depart. Those who stay will really identify with the company’s purpose and provide a solid foundation for your business. 


In summary

When you look at the new year ahead (yes, shock horror because it’s just around the corner!), take some time to reflect on what is driving your business. Without a purpose, your only focus is profit margin and although this is important, it will only take you so far.


Businesses with a solid sense of purpose have built a solid culture around their values, connect with their employees at a deeper level and perform consistently better.