Why are we here? If you want employees who are more engaged and productive, give them a purpose—one concretely tied to your customers and your strategy

Sally Blount, Paul Leinwand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

For many employees, the key motivator is a sense of purpose—and yet more than half of those surveyed say they’re not even “somewhat” passionate about their jobs. If organizations want to inspire their workers, they must clearly communicate why they’re in business and what value they provide. When employees understand and embrace those things, their companies thrive: Survey results show that more than 90% of companies with a well-defined purpose deliver growth and profits at or above the industry average. An effective purpose statement, the authors say, answers several questions: Why does our organization exist? Who are we serving? What value do we offer, and why are we uniquely capable of providing it? But a powerful statement is not enough; firms must also deliver on their promises to customers. That requires putting the right people in the right roles, breaking down silos to facilitate cross-functional collaboration, investing in the areas that matter most, and ensuring that leaders demonstrate every day, through their words and actions, their commitment to the firm’s articulated goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalHarvard business review
Volume2019
Issue numberNovember-December
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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