Building a Purpose-Driven Firm
A higher calling
Beyond making a profit, why does your firm exist? It’s a question being asked by more and more younger workers, and organizations with clear answers about their higher purpose are gaining an increasing competitive advantage in winning work and recruiting talent. Generation Z respondents to a Lovell Corporation survey ranked working for an organization they were proud of second out of 28 work value priorities. “Generation Z is more readily concerned with fueling their passions and taking pride in the work they do. For the first time, we see a generation prioritizing purpose in their work,” wrote the report’s authors.
Outdoor retailer REI is a model of a purpose-driven organization differentiating itself from the competition. After closing its doors on Black Friday and launching its #OptOutside campaign to emphasize the importance of being outdoors, REI saw job applications double the following quarter. Its retention rate is also twice that of competitors. “Purpose drives everything we do at REI. It creates strategic alignment, it guides how we build relationships with our customers, and it’s core to how we attract and retain talent,” REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke told Forbes.com. “Our belief that a life outdoors is a life well lived anchors everything. It’s our North Star.”
Make the connection
Seeking to build a stronger emotional connection with its employees, Big Four consulting firm KPMG asked its employees to answer the question “What do you do at KPMG?” Employees responded by creating posters with their photos and answers, such as “I Combat Terrorism” with the clarifying sentence “KPMG helps scores of financial institutions prevent money laundering, keeping financial resources out of the hands of terrorists and criminals.”
Find your “why.”
A/E firms, which design the world in which we live and protect the environment, have an easier task than those in other industries in connecting employees with a higher social purpose. Answer the question of why your firm exists, emphasize the social impact of your firm’s work to employees, and incorporate the message into recruiting, onboarding, and training programs.
the next you
Hiring and Promoting for Emotional Intelligence
IQ focus may not be smart
An increasing body of research has found that emotional intelligence can be a more essential leadership quality and a better predictor of workplace success than IQ. First popularized in 1995 by Daniel Goleman’s eponymous book, emotional intelligence is the ability to manage one’s own emotions and empathize with others. Emotionally intelligent people exhibit resilience, self-regulation, and flexibility and excel in listening, conflict management, and temperament control—all critical leadership skills.
Be a notetaker
A guide to help you better understand how AE firms are valued and – perhaps more importantly – what you can do to build value now.Read Newsletter