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How to keep purpose alive working remotely

The rise of remote work is bringing with it fresh challenges, even for purpose driven companies with a clear vision.

As a business leader, do you know how to keep your company’s purpose alive when you may not be able to walk the office floor or easily meet face-to-face with staff?

Remember, like your business, staff too are facing rapid change – which is exactly the time when a company’s purpose becomes crucial.

How do you know whether your staff are connected to and engaged with the company, and capable and equipped to deliver on your purpose and values when working remotely? Do they have the tools and the resources to engage customers and stakeholders in your business? What are the challenges they face in bringing your brand to life?

These are all questions CEOs or executives of purpose led companies need to ask themselves in the world of hybrid working. Below are three tangible actions to ensure your organisation stays focused on its path forward.

1. Take the temperature

You need an accurate and deep understanding of what’s really going on across the organisation, and whether staff are, in fact, still connecting with its purpose, and bringing it to life along with the company culture and brand experience.

To do this, consider a company-wide diagnostic. An in-depth diagnostic is very different to a staff survey.

A thorough diagnostic involves in-depth and qualitative one-on-one staff discussions with an expert third-party, where employees have the opportunity to convey how they are genuinely feeling about the current work situation in an environment of trust. This is then followed by deep analysis. Third-parties who specialise in company-wide diagnostics are trained to pick up on underlying issues and nuances.

An all-staff exercise of this kind gathers information from different parts of the organisation and levels of seniority, and covers a wide range of topics: how staff describe the organisation and its strengths, what’s working and what’s not, its values and if they are truly lived, and projection exercises around positioning and brand. The diagnostic also provides insights into whether employees know what the purpose of the organisation is, if they can articulate it clearly, and what they think they could be doing better to bring it to life.

With this information in hand, CEOs and executives can respond accordingly to ensure all staff are considered and engaged in how the organisation plans to achieve its objectives as part of the new working environment.

2. Supply the tools and experiences

This may be as simple as asking employees what they need to help them work better with remote stakeholders, whether it’s colleagues, clients, or suppliers.

They may need practical items such as better key messaging documents, video assets or physical resources to share with customers or business partners, or even a better meeting or conference platform.

Tools that talk about the brand or business in a way that leaders want to communicate are critical, bringing the organisation to life both internally and externally in the way it was intended.

Company executives need to make sure staff are equipped with everything they need to do their job well, and to position or sell the organisation clearly. This includes a rich onboarding experience for new employees so they have a clear understanding of the organisation, its values and its purpose driven business model: particularly when team members are starting a working from home role or during a lockdown period.

3. Show and tell

Make sure everyone is aware of examples and success stories that help deliver or bring your business purpose to life. Share the wins and the challenges – how team members are reaching out to and connecting with each other, customers, or stakeholders.

Be sure to share updates on new products, services or engagement methods you have developed for customers that are aligned to purpose and which better serve them. Ask staff what they can do to help you deliver these to their external audiences.

Communicate the direction the company is moving and challenges you may face, or opportunities that are being created.

Most importantly, help staff to understand your business’ purpose and how they can connect with it and bring it to life in their role – for their team, their customers and others they interact with on a day-to-day basis as part of representing the organisation.

These strategies can help purpose driven brands to keep their purpose alive, whether it is developing ground-breaking technology like Nippon Paint Group or supporting wellbeing like Teachers Health.

Contact Brand Council today and put your own purpose into practice.