Business beyond the bottom line – how do you define a true purpose and bring it to life? 

In today’s job climate, purpose is arguably one of the defining features towards a candidate choosing job. ‘Every time I interview a candidate, the question of purpose comes up. Ten years ago, it wasn’t even a factor’, explains Lisa DeMille, Salesforce Global VP. 

Our recent STEM Series event explored the ways that businesses carve out a purpose, and how it can be brought to life in your organisation. You can watch our experts share their knowledge on this topic by watching the video in full here. Or if you’d like to take a look at some of the highlights, read our key takeaways below. 

Purpose is power – but why does it matter? 

Corporate purpose is an organisation’s reason for being – it inspires a call to action which can benefit local and global society. Every businesses’ purpose will be unique and is essentially the “why” behind what a business does.  

74% of our event participants said they wouldn’t recommend a company without a clear purpose – it’s now the deciding factor of choosing a job, supplier, or product. According to Raffaele Mautone, CEO, AaDya Security, ‘Purpose creates a deeply rooted pride that everyone can feel.’ Our panelists also spoke abut the importance of ensuring your purpose bleeds through the company, is clearly understood, and can be easily articulated by all of your people. 

Purpose vs profit 

At SThree, our purpose is clear – we bring skilled people together to build the future. Our CEO, Mark Dorman, shared his thoughts throughout the event. 

‘Purpose is not profit. On a purely practical basis, companies that have a strong sense of purpose outperform those that do not. But more importantly, it’s the right thing to do. As a human being, most of us want to work in places that are doing the right thing and have engaged employees. Doing the right thing will ultimately reward you with the right talent for your organisation’ 

 The importance of defining and embedding purpose 

It’s key to engage your people when building out your purpose. Your people should feel empowered to ask questions and challenge any activity that appears to be misaligned to the company’s purpose.  

Businesses can activate this and give their people a voice through numerous practical ways – one idea is to create different employee resource groups that ensure you’re hearing different opinions across your workforce. Measuring purpose is also critical – leaders should be asking themselves what they can do on a month by month basis to action the purpose. 

According to Mark, ‘The most efficient and productive company purpose is connected to what you do. That makes it easier for employees to feel connected to the collective goal and gives them a guiding light.’ 

How has COVID impacted purpose? 

In some ways, many can feel disconnected as we adjust to long-term remote working, so its critical that leaders don’t only reinforce purpose but find ways to keep it alive virtually. 

Mark advised, ‘We’re all off-balance, which has magnified fractures that were already present. Things like income, gender, race inequality. There’s now a strengthened desire and a need for a call for action in these purposeful areas. 

You can view our STEM Series event ‘Business behind the bottom line – How do you define a true purpose and bring it to life?’ – in full by clicking here. 

Our panellists on the event included, Holly Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer, SThree, Chandra Gundlapalli, Global VP – Applications, Unisys, Mark Dorman, CEO, Specialist Staffing GroupRaffaele Mautone, CEO, AaDya SecurityLisa DeMille, Global VP – Solution Engineering, Salesforce