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Three Ways Mission-Driven Workplaces Perform Better

Three Ways Mission-Driven Workplaces Perform Better

by Nate Dvorak

Most of your employees probably don't know why your company exists -- and that may be causing major problems for your business.

While most business leaders can articulate their organization's mission, most employees feel disconnected from it. Gallup research shows that, across all industries, only 41% of employees strongly agree that they know what their company stands for and "what makes it different from competitors."

What's more, most workers do not see how your mission matters to them personally. Only four in 10 U.S. employees strongly agree that the mission or purpose of their company makes them feel their job is important.

These findings are significant because our research shows a direct link between employees' understanding of their company's identity and key measures of business health. A 10% improvement in employees' connection with the mission or purpose of their organization would result in:

  • a 12.7% reduction in safety incidents
  • an 8.1% decrease in turnover
  • a 4.4% increase in profitability

Leaders need to consider the strength of their organization's identity -- how well employees connect with the company's purpose, brand and culture -- as an essential part of business performance. Indeed, it is as important as job-specific skill training and adequate tools for employees.

Below are three key ways to improve employees' understanding of your company's mission or purpose:

  1. Employees' understanding of and alignment with the company's purpose should be regularly discussed and measured as a predictor of outcomes related to safety, retention, performance and profitability.
  2. Managers should help employees understand why their work matters and how it aligns with the company's purpose. Discussions connecting individual and team successes to the larger organizational mission or purpose need to be frequent. Recognition programs -- in addition to highlighting exceptional work -- must connect performance to the purpose of the organization.
  3. Internal communications teams should identify any business units lacking a strong connection with the organization's identity. These units are susceptible to risk, whether it be turnover, low productivity, or compliance or customer service problems. Groups within the organization that do not understand the company's purpose, do not deliver on its brand or fail to embody the culture every day should be identified. In addition, there should be targeted communication to these employees. To succeed collectively, the entire organization needs to be united and committed to one identity.

Do your employees understand your organization's purpose, brand and culture? Gallup can help you find out.

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