Winter 2022

WINTER 2022 / REAL-LEADERS.COM 25 LEADERSHIP 4 Steps toMeet andBeat the Demands of Your Employees You can take a few specific data-supported steps to ensure your purpose is working as hard as it can for you in these turbulent times and making your company resilient in the face of ongoing business and societal challenges. 2. Actions speak louder than words. Johanna Jobin, global head of corporate reputation and responsibility at Biogen and executive director of Biogen Foundation, says, “I don’t think organizations make up their purpose. They reveal their purpose. And it’s up to the people in the organization to reveal that purpose and bring it to life.” It’s up to us to help our employees understand that purpose is central to their roles. Build it into job descriptions, KPIs, reviews, compensation, ongoing mentoring conversations, company meetings, and all internal communications. Bob Jiminez, senior vice president corporate affairs at Cox Enterprises, illustrates this point nicely, saying, “A purpose without action is just some great words that folks can feel good about. We use purpose as the lens through which we make all of our decisions. We want a ripple effect that elevates other individuals and communities, particularly those in need, and raises them in the process.” Employee-fueled communication and programs will be the key to enterprisewide purpose adoption. Identify ambassadors in each department who champion your purpose and ensure it’s well aligned and activated. DebO’Connor, director of global corporate reputation and community relations at Whirlpool Corporation, says, “Employees are your ambassadors in the community. They want to be involved and are your primary stakeholder in corporate social responsibility. Your colleagues are the ones who help you get the work done.” 3. Engage purpose ambassadors. success. Companies that get it right “...make more money, have more engaged employees, more loyal customers, and are better at innovation and transformational change,” according to a Harvard Business Review report, The Business Case for Purpose. As business leaders, it’s up to us to be courageous and clear that our organizations will be human-centered and staunchly focused on lifting our stakeholders, beginning with our most valuable: employees. When we identify and live our true purpose, we create meaningful workplaces. We are rewarded with better recruitment and retention, increased performance and impact, and a futureproofed organization for today and tomorrow. Carol Cone is CEO of Carol Cone ON PURPOSE, which educates, inspires, and accelerates purpose programs and impacts for organizations, nonprofits, and individuals around the globe. 1. Purpose is everyone’s job. More than ever, employees seek roles at organizations that have values that match their own. So, we must put those values front and center in the employee experience. Balaji Ganapathy is chief of social responsibility at Tata Consultancy and says, “As an employer, you need to enable your workforce to fulfill their broader purpose. It does not stop with providing volunteering opportunities. It is about driving a culture.” n 4. Align employee and company values.