A company’s purpose is much bigger than what they do or how they do it. It explains why the company exists, summing up the impact it has on its customers, employees and society in general. The common purpose of a company connects it to a wider cause.
Simon Sinek hit the nail on the head:
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
Communicating company purpose clearly will attract customers, employees and other influencers who share the same beliefs. This creates a virtuous cycle, which in turn continually strengthens that purpose. And that’s the power of purpose-led companies: they create emotional employee connections, starting a drumbeat of energy and passion where connected people strive to make a difference.
If your purpose is authentic, it is more than just words – and that’s exactly right. Living the purpose from the inside out starts with action – if your purpose isn’t real then no amount of swishy communication campaign will make it come to life for your people and customers.
Once you’ve articulated the purpose, create a story (also known as a narrative) with the purpose as the hero. It is the golden thread of messaging that links everything you do back to why you do it.
Your purpose should support the employee experience – again, this is about deeds rather than words. If your purpose is about empowerment, then your people must be empowered. If it’s about putting customers first then your people must have the freedom to do just that.
A clear narrative and joined-up employee experience will make your purpose the foundation of employee engagement and motivation. It will build employees’ emotional connections to the company by showing them that their work matters. As communicators, we talk a lot about employee alignment: a common company purpose is the place to start if you want to bring your people together behind something bigger than themselves or their teams.
A rally cry is a carefully designed ‘call to action’. It can be used to unite employees behind the purpose. A rally cry campaign should be disruptive. The message is that something big is happening, so get involved and create the future you want to see!
Rally cry campaigns should be empowering, exciting and just a little bit edgy.
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