During the height of the pandemic, many organisations had to adapt quickly to remote working models, or in many cases – had to dramatically change the landscape of their business and their workforce by furloughing a number of employees. This led to many having to focus on a “temporary purpose” – perhaps losing sight of the core values and driver behind the business.
Losing focus on the wider picture when you’re in firefighting mode is understandable. But now we’re beginning to settle into some version of normality – with the furlough scheme officially winding down at the end of this month – many employees will be returning to the workplace, or at the very least, to work, in whatever form that may take.
Employees engage with purpose-driven organisations. Without a “north star” to aim for, employees are in danger of becoming disengaged and aimless – which in itself, breeds a negative culture.
There are many other reasons to regroup and refocus your attention on purpose and culture in your organisation post-COVID. In this post, we’ll look at some more of the drivers behind being a purpose-driven organisation, and provide you with some pointers on how to do this.
Why focus on purpose and culture?
As we’ve alluded to above, being driven by a purpose enables you to better engage your employees, which in turn leads to a healthier organisational culture.
The knock-on effect of this is that you’ll be able to attract and retain the best talent in your industry. Currently, the job market in the UK is the most competitive it’s ever been – with vacancies exceeding 1 million for the first on record between June and August. As we’ve covered before, competing for talent on things like salary alone is unsustainable. You need to be creating and living the purpose and culture of an organisation that people want to work for.
Research by employer review site Glassdoor found that the three main drivers for employee satisfaction are:
- The culture and values of the organisation
- The quality of senior leadership
- Access to career opportunities
If you’re underperforming in the key areas of culture and leadership, it will be out there for the world of prospective talent to see.
Having engaged employees driven by your core purpose has a direct influence on your bottom line too. 76% of employers agree that strong culture has a positive impact on productivity and efficiency. Highly engaged teams are as much as 21% more profitable, and in the mid to long term grow on average 2.5x as much as organisations with less engaged teams.
So, it’s clear that focusing on purpose and culture is absolutely vital for the success of your business in 2021 and beyond – but how do you bring it back to the fore?
Bringing the focus back to your purpose and culture
The vital first step on your journey to a great culture and a high-performing, purpose-driven team is employee engagement. If you don’t have a feel for what’s going on out there in your organisation, then you don’t have a foundation to work from.
What you need to do:
- Give your employees a voice within your organisation
- Collect regular, anonymous feedback from your employees
- Ask them to identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for the business
- Maintain anonymity to give them the space to be open and honest
- Connect them to the purpose of your business by getting them to think what would make the organisation and their place in it better
There’s never been a more vital time to engage your employees.
Talk Staff are an Authorised Partner of one of the world’s leading Employee Engagement Platforms. We offer your first survey for free – no strings attached. Want to engage your employees?
The feedback loop and taking action
Collecting feedback from your employees is just the first step – to make this exercise valuable, something needs to come of it. There needs to be some tangible outcomes for your employees, and feedback that their opinions are being heard.
What you need to do:
- Provide written feedback and committed action lists off the back of each engagement survey
- Consider delivering feedback in-person or on a video call, with a written reminder
- Follow up with updates on the progress of these actions and any changes that have been made
- Demonstrate to your employees that they have had a direct had in change in your business and deepen their connection to the purpose
Restating and living your values
As so much has changed over the past 18 months, it’s an ideal time to revisit your values. Are they still your values now? Are you agile, adaptable, resilient? Are you people-focused?
What you need to do:
- Review and restate your core values
- Share and communicate them clearly with your employees
- Regularly check your actions and your processes against these values – they’re not just a post on the wall
- Being a culture and purpose-driven organisation helps you be more productive and profitable
- Good culture and leadership is key in ensuring employee satisfaction and attracting talent
- Employee engagement is at the heart of good culture
- Start with collecting anonymous feedback on the organisation and leadership
- Create a feedback loop and share with your employees how you will action their feedback
- Review your values and frequently check-in that you are living them as an organisation – they’re not just a poster on the wall