If you’ve read any of my blog posts before or follow me on LinkedIn, you know that I’m a big believer in purpose. I truly believe that organizations are most successful when they have a clear sense of purpose to unite and inspire their teams – and that their purpose has to go beyond profits. Purpose has always been important. I’ve long argued that people work for money, but they perform for purpose. It allows us to get the best from our teams, attract top talent, boost retention, and even differentiate ourselves in the marketplace.  However, the coronavirus crisis has rapidly demonstrated that purpose is no less than essential. 

Purpose is Now a Crucial Asset for All Businesses 

Seemingly overnight, everyday life has been upended. The economy is crashing faster than we thought possible. And worst of all, we’re experiencing a public health crisis unfold across the country.  In this time, people are looking everywhere for a helping hand. They’re looking for someone to step in and make a difference. They’re widely condemning those who seek to exploit the crisis and lauding those who are stepping up to make a difference.  But the strange thing about coronavirus is that many of the changes it’s bringing about are only accelerations of prior trends.  

Coronavirus is Accelerating Many Existing Trends 

Remote work was already on the rise, now it’s the norm. Grocery stores were starting to embrace curbside pick-up and delivery, now that’s the preferred option for getting your groceries. Digital banking was becoming more popular, now banking on your phone is how it’s done.  The same can be said about purpose. Consumers and candidates alike were already becoming increasingly concerned with the “why” behind different businesses. People want to work at companies whose purpose they believe in, and they want to buy from them too.   The coronavirus has only highlighted this trend and made it twice as significant. In times of crisis, people care more than ever about the criteria companies utilize to make decisions.  

Purpose Needs to Be at the Core of Everything We Do 

Purpose beyond profits needs to be the foundation for every organizations decisions. Without this clear direction, organizations are prone to make short term decisions that have a negative effect on their teams, communities and their own long-term viability.     Businesses that seek to truly make a positive impact during this time will earn a tremendous amount of goodwill and loyalty among their customers, their employees, and the community at large. Companies focused on short term returns will continue to struggle when the crisis subsides.  If your organization hasn’t already put purpose front and center, now is the time to do so. It’s not about getting the PR attention or about an altruistic objective. It’s about doing the right thing and setting yourself up for sustainable growth and success over the long-term.  

Purpose is Practical – Crisis or No Crisis! 

When approached correctly, purpose is practical. Purpose drives team members to sacrifice for the greater good of the organization. Purpose creates an environment where discretionary effort expands, even without additional compensation consideration. Purpose is what drives team members to return to their employers after a crisis and not seek opportunities elsewhere.     Here’s the real question. How are you using purpose to drive your decisions during this time of crisis?  PS – Want to know more about the practical power of purpose? Click here to watch a recent video I recorded entitled The Power of Purpose.    

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