The Secret Ingredient to Create the Best Employer Brand: Purpose

Every company is created with a purpose. Whether you’re determined to create the best raincoat on planet Earth, or provide secure payments that get people paid faster, it’s serving a human need and helping improve people’s lives in some way. This is why your purpose matters; it is the source of your brand’s humanity, the core emotional drive that inspires your employees to clock in each day, collaborate, and build something they’re proud of. 

Purpose is your brand’s most powerful force. Click To Tweet

But purpose can easily be overshadowed, even forgotten, in the rush to capture customer attention, grow sales, and expand, expand, expand. When this happens, a brand can decay from the inside out.

Without a uniting sense of purpose, employees struggle to find meaning in their jobs. They stop caring, innovating, and contributing. This apathy weakens every aspect of the organization, resulting in a subpar brand experience that turns more and more customers off. The cycle continues, and the business suffers. 

Luckily, you can prevent this cycle from starting (or continuing if it’s already started) by re-centering your employer brand around your purpose. 

5 Ways Purpose Helps You Create a Better Employer Brand

Ultimately, purpose is what fuels your people, and people fuel your business. That means your success relies on your ability to attract and retain the best talent. Purpose is the secret to doing that. The more vocal you are about your purpose, the more people will want to join you, and the stronger your employer brand will become.

79% of people would consider a company’s mission and purpose before applying. Click To TweetGlassdoor’s Mission & Culture Survey 2019

Through this approach, you can not only support your work but elevate it, helping increase your visibility and your share of the marketplace. Here’s how embracing your purpose does all that and more.

1) Purpose makes you stand out.

You want to hire people who are willing to put their energy, creativity, and sweat into your brand. But recruiting is tough. Finding the right people, convincing them to apply, and moving them through the hiring process takes a lot of time.

Leading with purpose makes it easier. In a competitive job market, your purpose is what makes you different. Putting it front and center will help you attract the people who care about your purpose and, most importantly, want to contribute to it. 

Plus, if you can’t match your competitors’ salaries, purpose can provide the type of personal satisfaction that job seekers are looking for. With that talent, passion, and commitment, you can surpass your competitors in the long run.

Want to future-proof your business? Hire better people. Click To Tweet

2) Purpose connects people around a shared goal. 

Humans are not machines; they are people with an innate need for community and emotional connection. Purpose provides them with both.

When people are united around a cause they believe in, they feel more included in a community, more engaged in their work, and more invested in staying with the company. The result? Happier employees and less turnover.

66% of employed adults believe people at their work are more motivated and engaged because of a strong company mission. Click To TweetGlassdoor’s Mission & Culture Survey 2019

3) Purpose aligns your team thinking.

If you haven’t articulated or shared your purpose and you ask 10 employees why your company exists, you’re likely to get 10 different answers. This means those 10, or 100, or 10,000 employees ultimately view their work through very different lenses. They operate based on their interpretation of your purpose and make choices to support their own ideas. This means you have a workforce making inconsistent or even conflicting choices every single day. 

The beauty of your brand purpose is its simplicity. No matter how ambitious your purpose is, it is a singular goal. This singularity helps align not just hearts but minds, creating more effective communication, more effective problem-solving, and better work at every level of your organization.  

4) Purpose keeps you accountable.

If you want to cultivate a strong employer brand, you need to demonstrate integrity with everyone: your customers, your vendors, and your employees. If you don’t act with integrity behind closed doors, employees can use social media sites like Glassdoor to let the world know.

Purpose acts as a moral compass to make sure you are always acting in alignment with your principles. This is especially helpful when questions, challenges, or frustrations arise. Looking at things through the lens of purpose will help you respond instead of react, and make the right choices for your brand’s current and future success. 

This approach also empowers employees to voice concerns if the brand is straying from its purpose. For example, if your purpose is to create eco-friendly water bottles that help the environment, but your leadership suddenly decides to use cheaper but more harmful materials, employees can call them on it. In this sense, purpose inspires more transparency and accountability across your organization.  

1/3 of employees don’t feel that their organization leaders behave in a way that exemplifies the stated purpose of the organization. Click To TweetDDI Frontline Leader Project report

5) Purpose builds a stronger culture.

Even if you have the world’s most innovative product, a toxic culture will erode your brand eventually. If you want to attract the best and brightest (and keep the great employees you have), you have to create a culture they want to be a part of. 

56% of adults place culture above salary when it comes to job satisfaction. Click To TweetGlassdoor’s Mission & Culture Survey 2019

Your purpose can and should influence every aspect of your culture, from the perks you offer, to the office space you create, to the social activities you curate. The more you prove that you can walk the walk around your values and create a true community, the more people will want to stick around for the long run.

71% of employees would start looking for a new job if their company culture deteriorates. Click To TweetGlassdoor’s Mission & Culture Survey 2019

(BTW, if this is one area where your brand struggles, follow our guide to strengthen the core pillars of your culture.)

How to Bring Your Purpose to Life

Your purpose is a powerful force, so it should be thoughtfully articulated and shared with your larger team. For more tips on bringing purpose into your employer brand story…

  1. Start with this step-by-step guide to write your purpose, vision, mission, and values (aka your Brand Heart).
  2. Map your employee experience, and look for ways to incorporate your purpose into messaging at every stage (think job descriptions, onboarding materials, etc.).  
  3. Follow our culture marketing 101 guide to turn your culture into content. 
  4. Try these 10 ways to tell your employer brand story, and experiment with 25 types of content to tell that story through different channels.

And, as always, of you feel a little stuck or need some extra support, let’s chat about how we can help you get clarity.