3 top tips to create a sense of shared purpose
Shared Purpose, put simply, is the idea that people within your organisation are aligned to the same mission. We discuss why it matters here.
But how do you create a sense of shared purpose? Find out by reading our top 3 tips below!
1. Start with why - set out your purpose!
First and most importantly you need to set out your purpose. What does your organisation stand for? What is your mission? What is your reason to be? Understand your why.
As Simon Sinek says, “people won’t truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it.”
We highly recommend watching the TEDx Talk – Start with why – how great leaders inspire action, featuring Simon Sinek.
In this talk Simon discusses the ‘What’, ‘How’ and ‘Why. To inspire action, you need to ensure your employees understand their roles, and their place within your organisation. The employee may know what their role is and how to do it, but the most important part, in the case of creating a sense of shared purpose, is to ensure they understand WHY they are doing it.
Clearly outline a mission statement that is easy to interpret. Regularly review this statement and ensure it remains relevant. Use it regularly in communication with your employees and stakeholders. Define a clear set of company values and ensure they relate to your purpose.
2. Align people to your purpose!
Once you have your purpose outlined, and are communicating it well internally, how do you align people to this purpose?
However small or large an individual’s role is within a company, the individual needs to understand how they are contributing to the larger story within an
organisation. In larger organisations (especially) it can be difficult to see how an individual goal or objective are connected to those of others. I just clean the office, how is my role important? It is essential you marry your company objectives to goals and actions throughout the organisation – to align activity to your purpose.
The target here should be to set actions and goals that are linked. Goals that cascade right through the structure of your company. The goals need to run from the top of the company, filtering down to create sets of goals that connect or depend on each other. We call this a performance chain of goals. A chain of goals that are dependent on the success of other goals within the chain being met.
3. Measure and improve the alignment to your shared purpose!
What is then fundamental, is to review your goal achievement at regular intervals. You need to understand which goals and milestones are being achieved.
With the introduction of goals that are linked (performance goal chains), it is now possible to see which goals are impacting each other most, what the goal dependencies may be, what type of goals are being hit – and which are being missed.
By goal setting in this way, it is possible to see patterns of achievement by departments, and to see which goals are cross departmental. What impact does the IT team not hitting their goals, have on the rest of the departments and on the overall organisational goals? Without goal setting in this way it is impossible to see the links between departments, for your teams & individuals to understand their contribution to the organisation and consequently, their alignment to the organisational shared purpose.
Once you have a cascading goals approach, it is then possible to add supplementary data like personality types of your people, engagement rates, relationships, and communication data (we can help here if you do not have this data). Trust and relationship data (which MyPeople generate) can also be added at this point to see whether the depth and quality of relationships impact team goal performance. Our experience to date suggests they do!
This allows you to analyse which job roles hit which type of goals, what personality type is most likely to hit certain types of goals, and to then understand what type of goals worked better than others (for example, financial targets vs customer satisfaction targets).
The most important thing at this point is to feed what you have learnt back into the goal setting process. As your goal setting improves, you will begin to achieve more goals more often and your people will have a clearer picture on how they are contributing to the organisations purpose and successes.
The aim is twofold: for you to be able to understand your company’s performance chain (what factors are influencing performance), and secondly, for your people to feel connected to the organisations purpose – and their role within this purpose.
As an organisation, this enables you to have intelligence around what your people and teams are good at internally, and that in turn, allows you to personalise the experience for your employees. Thus, aligning employees professional and developmental goals with the purpose of the organisation.
Want more info? Email us and find out more about how to create a sense of shared purpose at your business!