New Articles

Paycheck Or Purpose? How Businesses Retain Workers by Giving Them Both.

purpose cash

Paycheck Or Purpose? How Businesses Retain Workers by Giving Them Both.

At a time when global talent shortages are reported at a 15-year high, one key to keeping the best employees happy and onboard may lie in how well companies not only state their purpose and their values, but also prioritize carrying them out.

“When purpose and values are backed by meaningful action, you have the extraordinary opportunity to sharpen your company’s legacy – and have a better chance of retaining employees who otherwise might seek opportunities elsewhere,” says Maggie Z. Miller, the ForbesBooks co-author with Hannah Nokes of Magnify Your Impact: Powering Profit with Purpose (www.magnify-impact.com).

That’s especially critical these days when 69% of companies worldwide have reported talent shortages, and many employers are working to build more flexibility into jobs, something workers are demanding, according to a recent ManPowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.

Miller points out that studies show firms that do a better job of practicing corporate responsibility can reduce average turnover over time by 25 to 50 percent. Employees want more than just a paycheck, although that’s important, too, she says. They want to feel that there’s some greater legacy to what they do each day and as a result they are drawn to companies that practice purpose alongside their profit.

Assisting businesses in finding and embracing purpose is what Miller and Nokes do. They are co-founders of Magnify Impact, a company that helps business leaders not only be prepared to react swiftly in times of crisis, but build a proactive strategy for effective social impact.

“Part of enriching your corporate growth journey is to move beyond purely transactional business operations,” Nokes says. “Purpose and values are the rock on which your business stands.”

And an essential element of that involves developing engaged employees.

Workers Desire Fulfillment

“Strong organizational values help cultivate fulfillment, where employees become active participants in, and ambassadors of, a company’s purpose,” Miller says.

People’s desire for fulfillment at work is strong, according to a PwC/CERC survey, which found that 70% of those surveyed said they would leave their current job for a more fulfilling opportunity, and one in three would consider lower pay to find more on-the-job fulfillment.

Meanwhile, Glassdoor’s Mission and Culture Survey 2019 found that 79% of adults would consider a company’s mission and purpose before applying for a job.

But one additional hurdle companies face in keeping employees engaged these days is that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on work and culture, Nokes says.

“Many companies will never go back to a full-time, in-person workforce,” she says. “Figuring out how to manage this new style of part physical and part virtual workplace is at the forefront.

“The pandemic and its reverberating effects raise new challenges for putting a company’s purpose into practice in day-to-day situations. How do you keep your people tethered to the culture in times of stress? How do you keep employees invested in and passionate about your brand when they’re not physically together?”

Miller and Nokes say it’s important to get employees involved in helping develop the solutions to those nagging questions.

Keeping It Simple – And Ambitious

While a company’s purpose and values can and should be ambitious, they don’t need to sound grandiose, peppered with flowery language or impenetrable prose, Nokes says. Some of the most successful companies state their purpose and values in simple and straightforward language.

For example, Patagonia’s purpose is “to save our home planet” and its values are “build the best product; cause no unnecessary harm; use business to protect nature; not bound by convention.”

Definitely ambitious. Also, easy to understand.

But purpose and values can’t just be feel-good ideas. They must be acted upon, or else employees will soon see that the company doesn’t really mean what it says, and they will go in search of a place to work where the purpose truly means something, Miller says.

“It doesn’t matter if you are in a beautiful corporate headquarters with your company’s values painted artistically on the wall,” she says. “Business leaders should ask themselves and their employees, ‘Do we make decisions based on these values? How often do we talk about them in leadership meetings?’ If the answers are ‘no’ and ‘never,’ it’s leadership’s job to get those words off the wall and into the hands of their people to use them.”

________________________________________________________________

Maggie Z. Miller and Hannah Nokes are ForbesBooks co-authors of Magnify Your Impact: Powering Profit with Purpose (www.magnify-impact.com). They also are co-founders of Magnify Impact, a company that helps business leaders create effective social impact strategies. Miller has developed social impact solutions with hundreds of company leaders globally. Previously, she founded an international nonprofit organization to provide microcredit loans for thousands of women in Peru. Nokes has led corporate social responsibility for global corporations and founded an impact collaborative of companies in Austin, Texas.

business

Putting Business Superpowers to Use in Times of Need

Airbnb saw an opportunity to render support when turmoil spread across Afghanistan as the U.S. announced the withdrawal of military forces.

The company offered to temporarily house as many as 20,000 Afghan refugees globally, with Airbnb’s chief executive expressing hope that others would be inspired to follow the company’s lead.

The move was just one example of how many multinational corporations have robust corporate responsibility programs that can move with lightning speed to respond quickly and effectively when disaster strikes.


But it’s not just larger corporations that possess the wherewithal to help in significant ways during times of need. Small and midsize businesses also can seize the opportunity to assist, says Maggie Z. Miller, the ForbesBooks co-author with Hannah Nokes of Magnify Your Impact: Powering Profit with Purpose (www.magnify-impact.com).

“They may not have the focused attention or financial resources of bigger companies, but they can create a plan for their community impact to be valuable and effective,” Miller says. “These companies are often more nimble and able to act quickly and efficiently. They can capture the opportunity to leverage the power of impact to support their success.”

The Many Ways To Help

All businesses, regardless of size, have the potential to make a difference, whether they realize it or not, say Miller and Nokes, who are co-founders of Magnify Impact, a company that helps business leaders not only be prepared to react swiftly in times of crisis, but build a proactive strategy for effective social impact.

“Businesses have unique abilities and access to resources to solve problems for their employees, customers, communities, and even the planet,” Nokes says. “Companies can use these unique talents to create shared value, driving their competitive advantage while helping make a tremendous impact in their operating communities and the world.”

Miller and Nokes refer to those resources and talents as a company’s “superpowers.” Sometimes the superpower relates directly to the company’s product or service, as was the case for Airbnb. Another example of this is Warby Parker, which specializes in eyewear. Since 2010 the company has given away 8 million pairs of glasses to people in need around the world under its Buy a Pair/Give a Pair program. Due to COVID-19, Warby Parker shifted its efforts to distributing personal protective equipment and preventative health supplies to healthcare workers and communities in need.

A company’s superpowers can go beyond its product or service, Nokes says.

“It can also mean expertise, knowledge, resources, skills, people or other assets that you put into action,” she says.

Meeting Expectations Of Employees And Customers

Increasingly, companies are understanding that social impact is a critical component to an effective business strategy. One trend that emerged during the COVID pandemic is that purpose-driven businesses outperformed their peers.

Beyond that, employees and customers expect businesses to have a social impact.

“In today’s connected and interdependent world, employees increasingly demand that businesses and their suppliers take part in creating solutions to the world’s most pressing problems,” Miller says.

Millennials are especially vigilant about researching and weighing the values and cultures of companies they want to work for, she says, and Gen Z is following suit, looking for authentic commitments from companies to take action beyond profitability.

Meanwhile, 66% of consumers say they would switch from a product they typically buy to a product from a purpose-driven company, and 77% feel a stronger emotional bond to brands that communicate a clear purpose.

“When a company offers its unique superpowers to the world to address the needs of society, people notice,” Miller says. “In turn, businesses can create loyal employees, brand advocates in their customers, and thriving business partnerships.”

______________________________________________________________________

Maggie Z. Miller and Hannah Nokes are ForbesBooks co-authors of Magnify Your Impact: Powering Profit with Purpose (www.magnify-impact.com). They also are co-founders of Magnify Impact, a company that helps business leaders create effective social impact strategies. Miller has developed social impact solutions with hundreds of company leaders globally. Previously, she founded an international nonprofit organization to provide microcredit loans for thousands of women in Peru. Nokes has led corporate social responsibility for global corporations and founded an impact collaborative of companies in Austin, Texas.