Purpose starts at the top

Before I get into discussing organizational purpose, I want to take a moment to wish all our service men and women a happy Veterans Day. Today we honor all who have served to protect our freedom. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.

At NAFCU, we talk a lot about our purpose – our “why” – and that’s helping our member credit unions grow and strengthening the credit union industry. Every organization has a purpose. It’s what drives short- and long-term visions. It allows us to reflect on new strategies and opportunities to see if we’re on the right path to meet our mission.

A recent Harvard Business Review article by Ron Carucci and Garry Ridge highlighted evidence that shows purpose-driven organizations across sectors outperform their competitors in all critical metrics. But just because your organization has a stated purpose, doesn’t mean it’s clear to your employees. Purpose must be driven from the top – we, as leaders, create the culture of working for and celebrating that purpose.

Another consideration: In a competitive job market, talent retention is key. Carucci and Ridge said that purpose-driven organizations retain employees and have more productivity. They gave four factors that indicate an organization has effectively generated purpose among its employees:

 

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