Published 1 year ago.
About a 5 minute read.
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New report from Allison+Partners, Carol Cone ON PURPOSE and The Harris Poll finds the C-Suite recognizes the imperative for organizational Purpose; yet, lack of alignment across functions threatens impact.
New research released Tuesday reveals how US workers’ priorities have
shifted from pre-pandemic times — with 66 percent of employees citing employers’
positive impact as more important than before the pandemic — identical to the
increase in importance of salary and compensation. The research also uncovered
the deep commitment of senior executives to the power of Purpose — with 92
percent agreeing if their companies were more focused on Purpose, their
organization would be more successful. 95 percent of C-suite leaders agree that
their corporate Purpose is a clear source of pride for their employees.
Even with the strong support for Purpose by corporate leaders today, the
research also uncovers new early indicators that Purpose is being underutilized
at some levels and in certain departments within organizations, which is
especially problematic at a time when employees are seeking it out more than
Purpose Under Pressure — released jointly
by Allison+Partners, Carol Cone ON
PURPOSE and The Harris
Poll — examines the benefits of a strong Purpose
during turbulent times, as well as how Purpose can help create more resilient
organizations to face ongoing business, operational and societal challenges.
Purpose Under Pressure reports how corporate Purpose — the reason a company
exists in addition to making money — drives employees’ decision-making and
overall buy-in. The research builds upon the findings of a 2020
The B2B Purpose Paradox, to understand how Purpose has evolved internally
during a tumultuous two years.
“This research proves that the prominence and influence of Purpose is stronger
than ever — especially among employees. We were encouraged to see that 84
percent of respondents said they would only work at a Purpose-driven company. In
a ‘free-agent’ employment world, an authentic and activated Purpose is a
powerful magnet for talent,” said Carol Cone. “Yet unfortunately, many
organizations have an inconsistent commitment to their Purpose, substantially
lessening its impact.”
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The research was conducted online in the US in February and March 2022 by The
Harris Poll among 352 B2B and B2C business professionals in a variety of
industries. Within the research, Purpose was
to respondents as a company’s reason for being in addition to profits that
guides its business growth and positive impact on society.
More than a third (35 percent) of employees said a company’s positive impact is
among the top two most important attributes when deciding to stay or leave a
job, signifying the power of Purpose to influence people’s employment
The report suggests employees seek opportunities that better align with their
values and the impact they want to make through their work. Key findings related
to retention and recruitment include:
91 percent of employees say a company’s Purpose makes them feel they are in
the right place as they weather ongoing challenges, such as the pandemic and
88 percent believe companies focused on Purpose will be more successful
compared with those that are not.
86 percent say having "meaning" in their work is more important than ever
84 percent will only work at Purpose-driven companies/brands.
“The events of the past two years have changed the priorities and consideration
sets for many employees today,” said Whitney Dailey, EVP and co-lead of the
Purpose Center of Excellence at Allison+Partners. “The Great
means that companies with a strong Purpose will win in the ongoing fight to
retain and attract top
And with new clouds of economic uncertainty on the horizon, companies with a
fully activated Purpose will be rewarded with a loyal workforce that is fully
committed to the direction and success of the organization.”
Despite Purpose’s significant gains as a critical workplace satisfaction metric
for current and prospective employees, employers have much work to do in
holistically embedding Purpose throughout their organizations. The research
Purpose is in the corner office but not at the water cooler. Purpose is
highly valued among senior executives but does not resonate as strongly at
other levels: 92 percent of C-suite leaders believe greater emphasis on
Purpose would lead to greater corporate success, while only 76 percent of
Purpose is siloed from key stakeholders. Strategy and marketing
functions present barriers to company-wide purpose adoption. HR is largely
bought in, with 70 percent of employees agreeing their employer’s Purpose
gives their work meaning. But only 36 percent of marketers and 32 percent of
Employees demand more meaning from employers. Purpose helped companies
weather the storm of the pandemic and the Great Resignation, but they
need to do more. Nearly nine-in-10 (86 percent) employees said companies
should double down on Purpose and only 53 percent said their company’s
Purpose was mature. Staff want to see companies embed Purpose more deeply
(77 percent), behave in ways more aligned with their Purpose (75 percent)
and better define organizational Purpose (68 percent).
“It’s not enough to have proclaimed, ‘we are a Purpose-driven company.’
Employees, especially, must be central stakeholders when recalibrating the
impact an enterprise wants to have on people and the planet,” said Aaron
Pickering, EVP and co-lead of the Purpose Center of Excellence. “Driving
impact requires constant collaboration and disruptive thinking — and nobody
brings that to the table more than employees.”
Purpose Under Pressure also outlines specific data-supported steps
organizations can take to avoid the early warning signs outlined in the report.
Companies should make their Purpose specific and authentic to what the
organization can uniquely provide to the world. The more precise and “human” the
Purpose, the more employees can see how they align with it. Further, as the past
two years have confirmed, a company’s Purpose is often put to the test in
moments of unexpected and mounting external conditions such as crises and
societal strife; to guide highly challenging decision-making during these times,
companies should embrace their values and Purpose to shape their actions and
“Now more than ever, Purpose is a critical corporate asset. Our findings make
clear the pivotal role Purpose plays in the attraction/retention ecosystem
companies are navigating today,” said Wendy Salomon, managing director at
The Harris Poll. “Companies are well-served to better activate Purpose across
functional areas and at all levels of the org chart.”
Published Jun 7, 2022 2pm EDT / 11am PDT / 7pm BST / 8pm CEST