How To Create a Purpose-Driven Organization

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Creating a purpose-driven organization is no easy task.

Sure, you may have left a mission statement on your job listing. But seriously, when was the last time you applied for a job because of their mission statement?

And yet, shared goals are key to employee engagement. So how do you get everybody on the same page without bumping heads?

Well, you’re about to find out. Keep reading to learn more about the tools and practices you need toward building a purpose-driven organization.

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What Is a Purpose-Driven Organization?

Many CEOs and associated business managers do not see the importance of having a higher organizational purpose for their company.

However, companies with a purposeful mission see 49% lower attrition than companies without.

It’s clear that a productive business strategy goes beyond simply selling products.

In fact, 79% of business leaders believe purpose is central to their organization’s success.

This is why purpose-driven organizations use strategy and decision-making skills to make a difference. 
Sometimes that difference is intra-organizational and only affects the people in the company.

For example, you can optimize technology management in your department by improving workplace tech and relieving the complaints of frustrated employees in the process.

That said, some organizations extend their purpose to the avenues of social entrepreneurship, and seek to do something more aspirational like address climate change.

Either way, purpose-driven organizations attract modern consumers who put stock into the organizational practices of the businesses they support.

Likewise, purpose-driven organizations generally have happier and healthier employees, along with lower turnover rates.

What Is a Corporate Purpose?

A corporate purpose is an organizational objective outside of profit maximization.

Notebook with 'Goals' sticker and target icon.

Mission statements tend to only describe ‘what’ a company does, and keep a healthy distance from explaining ‘why’.

Yet employees only stay routinely engaged when they can find meaning behind their work.

So it comes as no surprise that only 32% of U.S. employees were engaged in 2015.

While the economy thrives off good ideas that sell, there is more to work than economic exchange.

This is especially true in more recent years. For instance, millennials are expected to make up 75% of the American workforce by 2025.

And their sense of purpose, so to speak, is far greater than past generations.

You can bet that the next generation is just as fired up to put their energy into things that matter, and often that goes far deeper than mere financial transactions.

Long gone are the days when people would come into work devoid of passion or purpose for what they do.

These days, young workers are increasingly concerned with societal problems such as income inequality and environmental sustainability.

The younger and older generations do not always see eye to eye. But the foundation of a committed workforce is an organization with a set of common beliefs or goals.

Not to mention, consumers are stakeholders too. Their interest in your product depends on the reputation and value of your company.

Unilever is a prime example of a purpose-driven organization whose corporate purpose became the main catalyst of its success.

Suffice to say, creating a purpose-driven organization and finding a corporate purpose should be in your cards.

Benefits of Having a Corporate Purpose

Here’s a breakdown of how having a corporate purpose can benefit your company and lend to future success.

Increased Customer Loyalty

Customer satisfaction and loyalty rise when corporations have goals other than maximizing profits.

The relationship your business has with its customers does not exist in a vacuum.

The same goes for real life when your relationship with another person has external influence.

Say you go out to dinner with a friend, only to learn that they’re rude to waiters and don’t tip.

You’re probably not going to want to spend a lot of time with that person in the future.

Similarly, customers want to associate with businesses that do more good than bad.

Having a purpose outside of capital gain demonstrates to consumers that your brand has good intentions even when money isn’t involved.

Higher Job Performance

Employees are more productive in companies with a corporate purpose.

Creating a purpose-driven organization means aligning your corporate purpose with the interests of those who play a part in your organization, whether they be customers or employees.

Once, employees share the same goals as the organization they work with, they’re all the more motivated to make sales and build the brand however they can.

In short, if you do right by your employees, they’ll do right by you.

Stronger Organizational Commitments

You’ve seen the numbers. In creating a purpose-driven organization, you create a safe harbor for employees and other stakeholders to rest their heads.

Of course, they won’t actually be resting. But they also won’t be vying for the next purpose-driven organization that catches their eye.

Employees who find purpose within your organization are more likely to stay long-term and invest in your business for the long haul.

Steps for Creating a Purpose-Driven Organization

There’s no doubt that creating a purpose-driven organization is a valuable undertaking. But where do you start?

Flowchart titled 'Steps for Creating a Purpose-Driven Organization' with steps and blue background.

1. Start with a vision.

Most employers think work is as simple as getting paid to do a job. In reality, the more effort you put into your organization, the more you get back.

But the first step in creating a purpose-driven organization is recognizing that you want more from your business than profit.

Expose yourself to employees that go above and beyond in their day-to-day work.

Yes, they exist. But this is because they see work as more than transactional labor.

What would you do with an entire team of energized employees? Imagine the possibilities.

2. Find a purpose.

Now you want to identify what purpose can inspire a corporate workforce on a mass scale.

Talk to people on your team and find out what they want and what they care about.

Ask proactive questions, listen, and reflect. Discover the purpose. 

3. Engage authentically.

Your team knows when you’re lying to them.

You may not have a wooden nose, but employees can figure out the difference between someone who’s trying to tame a crowd and someone who means business.

Once you’ve identified a purpose, take actionable steps to work towards it.

Consider creating a strategy for change management or a roadmap with specific measures to manage how you implement your corporate purpose.

4. Be consistent.

Having solidified your purpose and in the wake of minute progress, it’s time to reinforce that message wherever you can.

In other words, your corporate purpose should be driving decision-making wherever possible.

The thing is, creating a purpose-driven organization never stops. There is always more work to be done. To illustrate, maybe your team agreed that upgrading workplace tech would motivate them to work better and harder.

But you refuse to invest in proper IT management because you don’t think it’s worth the trouble of augmenting your staff.

These inconsistencies will eventually wear down your team and hamper their morale.

Think outside the box if you have to, but don’t stray from your purpose.

5. Invest in learning.

Professional development is also a surefire way to keep teams engaged.

By helping team members understand where they fit in, you can instill a sense of greater purpose when it comes to working within your organization.
Work with individual team members and actively support their development. Encourage them to learn new skills and set objectives for themselves.

6. Build a support network.

One secret to creating a purpose-driven organization is effectively utilizing mid-level managers.

Organizations fare best when teams have internal support.

In software development, this can look like competent project management from an enthusiastic team manager who gets along with everyone on the team.

Not only do mid-level managers connect with the corporate purpose but they lead their team to do the same with a positive attitude.

7. Connect the people to the purpose.

Do your best to connect the people within your organization to the purpose you’ve set for the company. At KPMG, an accounting firm, employees shared to social media purpose-driven headlines and then explained how their work contributed to the purpose.

Called the 10,000 Stories Challenge, this project led to two extra days of holiday break once 10,000 posters participated.

8. Rely on energizers.

Put a heavy emphasis on the team members who take initiative and are naturally optimistic. Enlist them to bring other employees on board to the same mindset, by letting them lead meetings and gather feedback from the rest of the team.

This establishes trust on a horizontal level.

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Build a Purpose-Driven Organization withTrio

Purpose-driven organizations are hard to come by. And they’re even harder to build from the ground up.

Running and changing a business at the same time can be difficult, especially if you’re struggling to build a team in the first place.
Luckily, Trio is a purpose-driven organization with purpose-driven software engineers.

Our purpose is to help businesses in need develop software that transforms their business.

Our highly qualified team of software engineers can seamlessly integrate themselves within your company structure, optimizing business and energizing fellow team members all the while.

Build a purpose-driven organization with Trio at your side!

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With over 10 years of experience in software outsourcing, Alex has assisted in building high-performance teams before co-founding Trio with his partner Daniel. Today he enjoys helping people hire the best software developers from Latin America and writing great content on how to do that!
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