Why a Sense of Purpose Matters

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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:

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.


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