Coro’s Blog: On Purpose
Becoming a Purpose Professional: Using Your Career to Become a Greater Force for Good
Published on November 23, 2023
More and more companies are adopting a social purpose as the reason their business exists. There are different definitions of a social purpose business, but fundamentally it is a business whose reason for being is to create a better world. This includes profitably solving the problems of people and planet while not causing harm to them in doing so. It is the company’s optimal strategic contribution to long-term well-being for all.
Purposeful businesses go beyond mere declarations; they actively integrate their purpose into everything they do. Failure to do so puts them at risk of purpose-washing. Execution of their purpose involves embedding it in governance, all the way through the internal audit and risk function, marketing, and HR. Given the importance of metrics to steer a company on its purpose journey, marketers and human resource managers need a gauge of social purpose take-up within customer segments and the workforce. Leading companies are turning to purpose perception surveys to measure the company’s purpose authenticity and the stakeholders’ alignment and willingness to engage on the purpose. Here are a few examples of these purpose perception survey questions: “I believe the company is authentic and purpose-driven”, “By being in a relationship with this company, I feel I contribute to making the world a better place”, and “I feel inspired to contribute to the company’s purpose”.
But to really get purpose liftoff, businesses should spend the first six months to a year raising internal awareness of the new purpose, helping employees understand how a social purpose business differs from other types of business, and equipping employees with the knowledge and skills to bring the company’s purpose to life in their own roles, teams, and departments.
While this tool doesn’t cover all roles, as it is geared to those in professional functions, here is a guide to help employees, particularly at the management and leadership levels, become a “Social Purpose Professional”.