40% of employees (aged between 18 and 34) would take a pay cut if they could move to a purpose-driven firm that has a positive impact in the world.
From recent research by MSN, and shared in HR Grapevine, nearly 25% of workers over 35 also said the same. The trend is being identified by recruiters as the ‘purpose movement.’
“More and more people are looking for jobs that provide personal fulfillment….at the same time, companies are seeing that purpose-oriented employees become more productive and successful.”  Wade Burgess, CEO of recruitment website Shiftgig.
Similarly a new book by Vlatka Hlupic, professor of business and management at Westminster Business School, uses real life case studies to show how ‘humane business’ is the way forward, not just a nice to have. In an interview with HRMagazine, Hlupic says  “work should be enlivening, enriching, sustaining; a place where we can thrive and combine work and life together,”  and she has found evidence that backs up the idea that a humane management style increases business performance.
She does highlight however, that there is still a way to go to convince some who are tied to an old fashioned idea and perception that humane leadership does not align with profits and business success….’’generations of managers have grown up with a belief that it is always a trade-off: that being ruthless or dictatorial is the ‘real’ way to boost profits.’’
One of the case studies in the book is how Unilever, under the management of Chief Exec Paul Polman, reaped rewards by going through a process of redefining the business, based on having a higher purpose, having goals in terms of societal and environmental impact, not just sales.  Unilever created a purpose and measurement for the business (with targets) called the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.  The plan included creating company values and communicating them to staff, in Polman’s view… “If you focus only on share price and neglect people then your business will likely degrade in the long term. The question of a higher purpose is placed at the heart of business planning, strategy and operations. If you are not driven by a purpose you don’t have a long-term business model.”

Us humans are drawn to purpose and it benefits us. We’ve previously cited research showing the connection between a sense of purpose in our personal lives and good health, such as reduced risk of stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, and even increased longevity.

What’s your purpose? It can be big or small, as long as it is true to you and your iAM Values, forget thinking about what your purpose ‘should’ be.  In this way it will be strong and inspiring.

Hints & Tips on Finding Your Purpose  

To help create your purpose:
  • Ask yourself; what is meaningful in what I do?
  • Think about what you enjoy, what fuels you. It could be changing the world, creating a human workplace, beating the competition, enjoying something, helping people or being useful.
  • Make a list.
  • Integrate these into your daily consciousness.
  • Use them when you are creating your daily goals and reflecting on what a difference you have made.