Dr. John Izzo helps companies maximize their potential from the ground up. For over 20 years, Dr. Izzo has worked with thousands of leaders around the world, on employee-engagement strategies and brand transformations. Dr. Izzo has been a pioneer in employee engagement, leading change, shifting employee and consumer values and corporate social responsibility. He is known for his hard hitting practical content, his inspirational storytelling and the lasting impact he has on organizations.
Today I’d like to talk about how we can keep our teams more connected to purpose. Research shows that when associates feel connected to the purpose of their company and their jobs they are more engaged, more productive, less likely to call in sick, and provide higher levels of customer service. Ever since my first book, Awakening Corporate Soul, I have been helping leaders create purpose driven companies and teams that can excel in the marketplace.
Although having a powerful mission statement can make a big difference to connect your people to purpose, it is often the day to day things that we do that make the biggest difference. So here are four things you can to really keep your teams connected to purpose:
#1 Focus on higher purpose in EVERY meeting. That’s right. In every meeting focus on how your products and services are making a real difference for your clients and customers. Ideally make it a regular agenda item and don’t save it for last. Invite people to share their own stories, bring letters and comments from customers, and recognize those who have lived the purpose.
#2 Invite customers and clients in to tell their story of the difference you are making. There is nothing like hearing about your purpose from the people who are benefiting from it. Medtronics, the medical device manufacturer, has an annual event where patients, families and doctors come to tell how their products have saved and changed lives. Every team and organization needs events from time to time that feature the POSITIVE difference you are making. Videos of customers and client are also good–face to face even better.
#3 Have a great mission statement and read it often. At the Ritz Carlton they recite their inspiring Mission Statement every day at their stand up meetings. We become what we talk about. If our purpose is really why we are here, why not read it every day and start your day with it. Make it a focus, not a side show.
#4 As a leader, make sure you role model “purpose driven leadership” through personal stories. At Qantas Airlines, a large client of ours that delivered our Stepping Up Program to their 18,000 people, had leaders tell a story about why they think Qantas matters. That is, they were asked to tell a story about a time when Qantas really lived its purpose that reminded them of why the brand matters to Australia. Employees loved hearing leaders talk about their passion for the brand, not just about making money but why this brand really makes a difference.
A famous comedian once said “the problem with life is that it is so daily.” Just like daily shaving, showering and grooming, driving purpose is an ongoing effort.
Every year I speak to scores of leadership groups about how to drive purpose. Thanks for helping me live my purpose!