Most businesses start out with a strong grasp on purpose in their early days. Over time, many factors can contribute to the watering down of these core values and eventual inauthenticity to their true mission. This can include leadership changes, financial setbacks, employee burnout and other factors that are difficult to control. No matter what the cause is, it almost always results in lost profits and stagnation.
The benefits of having a strong purpose are twofold. First and foremost, customers connect with businesses that have a strong purpose, and usually, this connection translates into loyalty and then dollars. Internally, employees feel a sense of ownership and pride when they find purpose in their work. This benefits the business in the short term through job performance and high levels of customer service as a result. In the long term, employees who feel a sense of purpose in their work often remain loyal to a business. This cuts back on resources needed to make up for turnover and has a positive impact on morale. When it comes down to it, everybody wins when there is a true sense of purpose in the work being done.
If your purpose feels out of focus, it’s never too late to clarify your vision. In periods of great change and challenges that shake your business, it is always helpful to return to your core values. This is especially relevant in the very uncertain times we are living in. To get started, use these five key questions to start a dialogue internally and possibly even externally if this can be done comfortably with clients or customers. Be sure to include team members across all seniority levels to identify trends among your workforce.
- What makes your business unique from others in your industry?
- What would customers lose if your business closed tomorrow?
- How has your business changed the lives of your customers?
- Why do employees come to work every day?
- How do people speak about your business when you are not around?
If the answers to these questions are vague, disconnected from your brand’s overriding identity or vary depending on seniority level, it may be time to take a good, hard look at some next steps to refine your purpose. This can be done through exercises like a brand discovery process or through a deeper dive done in partnership with a business strategy consultant.
If you’re ready to start the upcoming year out strong, we would love to empower your business with the tools to succeed. Get a free consultation at ellingtondigital.com.