For tips on aligning all your employees to a purpose, ask a caveman.
Creating a focused, and ultimately more productive business by aligning your team to a commonly-held purpose is a relatively recent concept. In fact, on an evolutionary time frame, it’s only been around for about twenty-five seconds. But the principle is anything but new. It goes back to the early hunter-gatherer times when survival depended on group collaboration. Take a tribe of individuals, work out something that each person can tangibly contribute towards – then demonstrate how by working together, we create a positive outcome. This does more that create a collective benefit; it also nourishes our deeply held need to belong. To be part of something greater than ourselves. Now these days, we don’t need to band together to fend of sabre-tooth beast attacks. Nor do we need to launch hunting parties in order to obtain food. But we still crave belonging. Yet whether your company has 15, 50 or 500 employees, simply working for the same business is unlikely to generate a feeling of genuine belonging. And to work to maximum effect, alignment has to go deeper than merely knowing the company mission statement or consumer-facing proposition. At a time when businesses everywhere are struggling to attract top calibre employees, the values your company models and the focused social impact that your work has are becoming more and more important. A recent ‘Better Futures’ study by ColmarBrunton reported that 73% of New Zealanders say it’s important for them to work for a company that is socially and environmentally responsible. So aware organisations are being proactive by deliberately working to discover an internally-focused purpose that delivers a sense of accomplishment and social worth to all employees. And to generate even more alignment and engagement, they go deeper by extrapolating the contribution each individual’s role makes towards that purpose.
The end result is something that relates to the business’ external proposition. But it flips it in a way that makes it more meaningful for every single employee. Your critical purpose must be inward-facing because it answers the need that your people have to make a significant difference to something outside of themselves – and it personalises this cause in a way that builds emotional ownership. In short, your team have a strongly emotional, personalised reason for getting to work each day. It fills them with a sense of accomplishment and bonds them regardless of seniority, role or title into a committed band – a tribe with a single-minded focus. And this brings with it all manner of human and business benefits.
It’s also what we at Tickled Pink specialise in delivering for our clients. Can we do it for you?