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Create a Culture That Inspires: Purpose

Create a Culture That Inspires: Purpose

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
  • Season 8, Episode 44
  • Learn how understanding their organization's purpose can help employees discover their own purpose and can enhance their contributions to the organization and their team.
  • Interested in learning more on this topic? Read more about how to improve teamwork in the workplace.

Jaclynn Robinson, Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup, was our guest on a recent Called to Coach. In Part 3 of a webcast series focusing on Creating a Culture That Inspires, Jaclynn shared how important it is for organizations to communicate their mission and purpose clearly to their employees. As individual employees gain greater understanding about their organization's purpose, this fosters discovery of their own sense of purpose and enhances their contributions to the organization and their own team.

Access Create a Culture That Inspires -- Part 1, and Part 2, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10 and Part 11 of the Create a Culture That Inspires series.

Below is a full transcript of the conversation, including time stamps. Full audio and video are posted above.

What should I look for in a job/career?

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison, and live from our virtual studios around the world, this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on May 15, 2020.

Jim Collison 0:17

Called to Coach is a resource for those want to help others discover and use their strengths. We have Gallup experts and independent strengths coaches share tactics, insights and strategies to help coaches maximize the talent of individuals, teams and organizations around the world. If you're listening live, love to have you join us in our chat room. There's a link to it right above me in the video into there, if you're on the live stream. Click that; it'll take you to YouTube and sign into the chat room. Let us know you're, you're there so that we know that. If you're listening after the fact and you want to send us an email, super easy, just send it to And for whatever reason, many of you have been using that address lately. We've been talking about that for years, and just all of a sudden -- maybe it's a, you know, a situation going on around the world, but you've contacted us and we appreciate that as well. If you're on YouTube, you can subscribe to us. There's a button right below Jaclynn over there that says "Subscribe"; click the notification bell. And if you like the video, click the "Like" button; it kind of helps us get discovered on YouTube. And of course that'll help spread CliftonStrengths around the world. Jaclynn Robinson is our host today. She's a Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup, and Jaclynn, it's always a one of my best days at work when I get to spend time with you. Welcome to Called to Coach

Jaclynn Robinson 1:21

Likewise! I always have so much fun.

Jim Collison 1:23

We do, we do have fun together. It's, it's I had fun with Jessica Dawson last Friday.

Jaclynn Robinson 1:29

My best friend at work!

Jim Collison 1:32

Yeah, she was fabulous. We spent some time talking about the Name it, Claim it and Aim it -- we're talking about Cultures That Inspire. That's the series we're currently in. So we talked about -- she kind of laid the framework of Name it, Claim it, Aim it, right, this philosophy of how we approach strengths, how that we really consume that and, and make that operational right in our life. She also spent some time -- we got very, very tactical: 22 ways (I didn't hear from anybody, by the way). We weren't sure ourselves. Did we do 19? Did we do 25? We just throwing out a whole bunch of ideas. We said 22. But 22 ways to embed strengths into your organization. Very, very practical.

Jim Collison 2:10

Today, on Part 3 from you, we're going to talk about Purpose, right? Inspiring with purpose inside an organization. Part 4, we're going to record a little bit later, but, or available in the podcast, we're going to talk about Celebration and Success, which I can't wait to get to. But right now, we're talking about purpose, Jaclynn. And so as we think about that, how can businesses, you know, kind of ignite or re-ignite a sense of purpose with their employees. When we think about that -- more than just, I think, you know, that purpose statement. Like most organizations have them; let's talk about getting that, you know, hitting the ignition switch and getting purpose really embedded in an organization.

Jaclynn Robinson 2:47

Yeah. Especially if there's a lot of -- we know that's important in any in any environment, but I think even more so when you, you have to be agile, and there's a lot of organizational changes that are happening, or even something in the external world that's happening that gets people a little shaken up. And they say, OK, what's happening here? So I think from the executive level, something that I strongly encourage as a coach is, Have you communicated clearly with, with the organization? If we think about those 4 Needs of Followers -- Hope, Trust, Compassion and Stability -- that Hope segment, I think, is really good to insert here. To say, to say to leaders, What are you doing in the here and now, and what can you verbalize and communicate to your organization about how those changes are going to impact the organization for the better? And this is the positive efforts that, that you all are working on as an organization to facilitate that growth and that, that positive future. So there -- it's, it's more of that inspiring message that helps lead with aspiration and inspiration, as I like to call it, and gets people understanding what does the future look like? So I think anytime that it comes to purpose, people are asking, How does my contribution matter? And what are we doing as an organization that's contributing to the overall good of our customers or our clients or our patients? depending on the industry you're in. And so keeping that even more top of mind, and, like you said, mission and purpose, we hear that a lot. But, but when you just bring it down into that, that grainy level, what does that mean? What are we doing?

Jim Collison 4:25

Well, and we know, I mean, I alluded to this: Most companies have some kind of mission statement, so to speak, they try to live by. The executive team is really responsible for that in a lot of ways. It has to be executed and lived by the organization. But one of the things we do, I think, really, really well at the executive level at Gallup is also live those values, not just talk them. During very stressful times in an organization, you can kind of tell, is it being lived or not, right? So there's maybe some measurements going on. But Jaclynn, what kind of, what kind of advice would you give to an executive team that maybe has put that mission statement in place but hasn't gone beyond that. How do they push that down -- both for themselves and from an organizational standpoint -- to kind of live that a little more close to what they were intending with purpose?

Jaclynn Robinson 5:10

Yeah, I think a good -- a good practice that they could have is really living out those values themselves. What I've noticed in a lot of organizations I've gone into is if the leaders aren't living that mission and purpose, but they're pushing other people to, and they're pushing managers to, there's that disconnect, and some of that, well how come we're doing that, but, but we don't see it actually lived? And is this really what we do stand for? So I think a huge, huge piece is just you say something, you mean something, you do something. So make sure that you're putting that messaging out there and communicating very clearly what that, that mission and purpose is, both to the organization but also the, the managers that then have to take even more of that mission and purpose and translate it down to the local level to say, this is what, what that means at our level. This is how it's going to show up for us. And without that sense of communication, it's, I feel like it's just, it's, it's lost. It just kind of falls through the cracks and managers are just kind of left shrugging their shoulders, going, Well, I don't know what I'm supposed to say to my team.

Jim Collison 6:17

Managers are often on the hook to implement these. This is spoken, maybe communicated. As we think about advice to help managers get this implemented at the local level, if we're going to say that -- and "local" doesn't necessarily mean the team that's in the building at the moment; that localization could be a team that spread around the world -- what kind of help or advice or what kind of things would we have for managers to help implement this idea of purpose?

Jaclynn Robinson 6:43

Yeah, one thing that -- a key word that I picked up on that you just mentioned earlier was "values." And so that might be a good opportunity for managers to use the values cards. Values cards, I've got them somewhere around here -- and some of you as strengths coaches have probably seen these as well -- but with the values cards, just having a moment to, to take a pause and say, OK, let's just take a step back in our day and reassess our values. Let's think through how they're showing up for us. What's most important to you? How do you see your your CliftonStrengths themes showing up and contributing and influencing those values? And now let's take it a level further and say, What responsibilities do you have every day that you feel most connected to those values? Alternatively, what activities aren't, aren't really landing with you to that degree, and how might you be able to rectify that and, and fix it so that it does feel like you're being more fed in that area? But I think that's a good starting point, too, just to help people take a step back and self-assess what's important to me. How do I see my own talents show up? And then how is that then connected to the, the mission and purpose that we're trying to carry out?

Jim Collison 8:02

How do you think that fits in -- as we think about teams, and this, for whatever reason this week, I've been thinking a lot about teams. I don't know, the idea of team grids and kind of thinking through some things you could do with teams. From a values perspective, as we think at the team level and then adding in or getting the team to take that the company mission statement, whatever that mission and purpose, and defining it for themselves. By the way, the values cards that you showed -- nothing magic on those except questions, right, of that, kind of help prompt, right, thinking about. They could do them without the card, they could begin to start documenting, Hey, what do we feel like is important in some of the things that we do? The other thing I would say: You don't have to necessarily be a nonprofit or an organization to have purpose. Every company has a purpose and they're trying to serve their customers, right. So what, what else have you seen -- when we think about a team's perspective, what other things have you seen that teams could do to help them really start working through this idea of purpose in what they're doing?

Jaclynn Robinson 9:01

Yeah, I like, I like when teams come together, and the manager is involved as well. And they're just asking questions around, you know, what, what do we feel drives us the most? What can -- what, what do we feel is most purposeful in what we do? What are some ideas you all have as how we can get even more centered on that purpose? What can we learn from our existing environment, if we feel like there has been a lot of organizational change or something happening in the socioeconomic system that recenters us again? So what can we learn from? What are we doing well? And then let's think about some, some ways that we can implement that. And I think that's where you really get the team involved, because everyone is able to offer feedback, whether they're working remote or they're in the office. But everyone can kind of come together, and I think that taps into feeling seen and heard and valued when they can give that that positive feedback and contribute to the team's purpose. And having a manager there I think is also important, because it shows that, that compassion piece. I care about what you have to say, and I want to make sure that you feel well-aligned with, with the purpose that we have.

Jim Collison 10:12

At the individual level, when we think about the individual understanding their own "Why I exist," you know, we have a, we have a exercise we do whenever we're meeting at Gallup, called "Focus on You." And, you know, oftentimes it's, Who are you? What's your Top 5? And you know, what do you get paid to do? And then maybe another question. I think that question of, Why am I here? Like, not just what do I -- what do I get paid to do, but why am I here? So as we think about an individual working out their own mission and purpose, like, Here's what I exist for. What kind of advice would we give, or what would you say to that as an individual working through that process as well?

Jaclynn Robinson 10:51

Yeah. One thing that I encourage now, and it might be coming from the psychologist's perspective as well, but we're a Positive Psychology organization. So I feel like it works in tandem. I've become even more hyperfocused on individuals' wellbeing whenever, whenever there's organizational change or, again, external change. And so one thing I would even suggest individuals do: I would encourage them to just get outdoors, get out in nature. Because what we're finding is that if you're out among nature, not only does it help with your positive affect, but it actually helps you start thinking more about your mission and purpose. And so what a great way to, one, be feeding your physical wellbeing and getting outside. But you're also be, you're able to, I think, more effectively think through solutions, think through what it is that feeds you every day and what you're, you're grateful for. And then that helps you sit back at the table and say, OK, this is the meaning and purpose that I get out of life, and then how am I implementing that in the workplace?

Jim Collison 11:55

Yeah, good opportunities for, for individuals to maybe think, see a little clearly -- get, get out beyond the four walls. I mean, I think sometimes there's the -- that has an effect too, to just get out and see some things. What kind of -- if we looked at an organization that was getting this right, like if they were getting purpose right, if they were inspiring their employees, what kinds of things would you expect to see? What would be some, you know, when I put we -- in the preshow, you and I were talking about baking bread, right? Because right now everybody's baking bread. I would expect when I put that in the oven, it comes out delicious, right? That's a -- that's what I would expect. And so far, so good. When we look at organizations that are getting purpose right, what would you expect to see? What's -- what kind of outcomes would come out of those organizations?

Jaclynn Robinson 12:38

Yeah. I feel that people, it goes back to those 4 Needs of Followers. I feel like people, when it comes to purpose and mission, they feel stable in that environment because leadership has done a really great job of communicating, This is our -- this is the ultimate mission. So even though life has changed for us, what we're doing to our customers and our clients, that still matters. And it might look a little bit different, but this is how we're moving forward and beyond that. So now you're inspiring hope. And that clarity of communication, I think, instills trust, so people feel like they're still, there's still stable ground when it comes to the light at the end of the tunnel. This is just recentering me on what it is that we're here to do.

Jaclynn Robinson 13:26

And then from the manager perspective, you hear them even talk about it at the local level. They'll reiterate some of what they're hearing leadership say, whether it was a town hall setting or an email that went out from leadership, but they'll pull and highlight some of those areas that are mission-driven or purpose-driven. And then they incorporate that into how they're contributing as a team. I see that a lot. And then just teams coming together, because they, they recognize that the mission can't be carried out just as a lone worker and that it takes, it takes a community to do so. So you really see them leaning in and saying, OK, how can we get better at this? What are some ideas we can have to continue to facilitate that purpose? What's of value to us?

Jim Collison 14:12

We're living in a more and more remote world. We've been studying remote workers for the last 5 years here at Gallup. A lot of questions around that. When we think about remote workers, whether they're managers or individual contributors, however they fit into this, oftentimes, they're isolated. They're out -- they're, they don't get an opportunity to just get up and go get coffee and run into somebody in the office. Or they may be in a completely different time zone. Jaclynn, how important is this Mission, this Mission/Purpose, this idea of centering them when they're dis -- when they may be disconnected, those times they may be disconnected? What kind of effect does it have on them in those times they may be questioning -- questioning their value and worth?

Jaclynn Robinson 14:55

Yeah, I think you're on to something great there, too, with remote workers is there's, there's that feeling of social isolation over time. And so really just being able to engage one another as a team too. Something that we talked about was if you've got an organization and you're in different countries, being cognizant of the time zone, and, and maybe just connecting with an individual in a different time zone when they're still awake, and they're not getting up at 2 in the morning to take a work meeting or 7 p.m. to take a work meeting, but you're more cognizant of when they're going to be at their best and you're just calling them to check in.

Jaclynn Robinson 15:32

So in scheduling time, even ahead of time, what you see some colleagues do is they'll say, Hey, let's get together for a happy hour. Hey, let's get together just for a coffee talk. When are you available? Let's put it on our calendars. And they're making sure that the, the time zones feel like they're matching up for both of them. Again, someone' not getting up at 2 a.m. But that, I think, certainly supports people from feeling socially isolated. And getting the manager involved and just what I've seen some great managers do is they're pinging the employees too, just to say, Hey, I know this is a project you were working on this, this week; I know you're going to just kill it. Great job! Or, hey, you're leading a course this week. I know you're gonna, you're gonna do great work out there. So I think that helps, too, because you just -- now you're getting the manager involved. And you see that you're, you're seen and heard. And they know what you're up to.

Jim Collison 16:24

We're going to talk a little bit more about this in the next session, when we think about Celebration of Success. The value component of this is when I, as a manager, wake up at 3 in the morning to have that conversation with my remote employee who may be in a different time zone, it displays -- it doesn't just say I value you, it means I value you. Like, Hey, I don't have to do this. And I was, I was talking with some folks just the other day about this and they actually, every other week, swap that time zone. So they, they'll have the meeting, right, in one time zone, and then the next week in the other, to swap it back and forth. And that, that's, that tells the person "I value you because I'm willing to wake up at 3 in the morning," or whatever, whatever that is, right, to be able to do that.

Jim Collison 17:06

And I think the other switch in that, too, is tailoring those opportunities with managers to employees on the frequency at which they meet with them. So asking those questions of what really is best for you in our convers -- we think, you know, we did a series on it with Paul on the 5 Coaching Conversations. And Paul, Paul and Al joined us for those. And some of those conversations are asking them, What's best for you? What's the frequency at which you would like this, right? That is another way for managers, organizations to show I value you because I'm asking you what's best for you in that. And that can really begin to drive this idea of purpose: Hey, they care about me. I'm in a role where I know what we're doing and what we're trying to do. Our -- you know, our first question on the Q12 is, you know, Do you know what's expected of you at work? And it's so surprising how many people don't, right?

Jaclynn Robinson 17:58

It is. And then, as we see, that impacts their ability to get the job done; that impacts their ability to do what they do best. And how can you carry out the mission and purpose if you're not able to live through it because you don't know what you should be focused on and you don't have the materials to do it?

Jim Collison 18:12

Right? No, those are all -- those all tie together. Jaclynn, anything else you'd add before we close this up?

Jaclynn Robinson 18:17

Let's see. So for those of you that are on, I -- Input is really low for me. So I always write down things that I want to make sure that I don't miss out on. Yeah, I think that, that covers it. That covers it.

Jim Collison 18:32

We successfully -- we success -- we knew our purpose was to talk about purpose, and so to get that out. Well, for those of you who are listening live, stay around, and we'll cover here Part 4 as we think about Celebration and Success.

Jim Collison 18:45

With that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available now in Gallup Access. Easiest way to get that to that: If you want to listen to us on YouTube, you can do that as well; just search "Gallup Webcasts" on YouTube. You'll get to all of our -- or "CliftonStrengths," actually, will get you there as well. We'd love to have you do that. If you -- when you're on our website, if you want to sign up for our newsletter, at the bottom of the page is just a signup. Put your email address in; we won't spam you. Send you monthly updates of everything that's going on here at Gallup. A great way to stay connected. If you have any questions at all, send us an email: if you want to join us for these live events; if you're hearing this as a podcast or on YouTube, and you're like, Wait a minute, this is live?! Some of you really like being here live. Follow us on Eventbrite: Maybe not applicable for you right now, because you're listening to this after June 2. But if it's before June 2, 2020, and you haven't signed up for the CliftonStrengths Summit. Do you -- do you really want to be -- and we're calling it Gallup at Work this year -- do you really want to be left out, right? Do you want to -- many are coming; all the cool kids are going to be there: Get signed up. Special pricing; 20 hours of learning. You get 3 months to take it in, but we'd love to have you join us live. Available right now, and we just crossed over -- Jaclynn, we just got crossed over -- the, the amount we had live last year. And so we're racing to double or triple that number. It's gonna be great; it's gonna be great.

Jaclynn Robinson 20:08

I love it. It's anytime, anywhere access, which is really great.

Jim Collison 20:11

Yeah, no, right on. Great -- and a great, at a great value for folks at this time when, when things are tight; a great value. So join us over there at Join us on Facebook:, and on LinkedIn, just search "CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches." If you're listening live, hang around. If you are listening to the recorded version, just go to the next one. With that, we'll say, Goodbye everybody.

Jaclynn Robinson's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Achiever, Strategic, Maximizer, Positivity and Relator.

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:

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