Deloitte recently completed its annual Core Beliefs and Culture Survey (PDF). This survey hones in on the importance of “establishing a culture of purpose.”
Employees at companies with a strong sense of purpose are more likely to believe their firms are doing well across a wide variety of measure than employees in firms without that sense of purpose. Those measures include: financial performance, competitiveness, values and beliefs, customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction:
In terms of concrete actions that differentiate a firm from its competitors in developing a sense of purpose, the survey found three distinguishing characteristics:
- Employee development programs
- Products and services that make a meaningful impact on customers/clients
- Products and services that benefit society
It’s worth remembering that this survey is measuring attitudes of organizational employees, so when it talks about factors like financial performance, it’s measuring employee assessments, not actual financial data. That said, I believe it is a decent proxy, as most employees have a sense for these factors. And if nothing more, what this survey is really assessing is the employee’s confidence in their firm against these various factors. Those attitudes matter a lot when it comes to determining the culture of an organization.
And if some of these factors sound familiar to you, you might recognize them as key elements of a regenerative business – those organizations that prioritize people and mission in their quest for profits.