New York — May 16
A new online survey released Thursday by Deloitte finds that the majority of employees and executives believe that businesses are not doing enough to instill in their cultures a sense of purpose aimed at making a positive impact.
The annual Deloitte Core Beliefs & Culture survey also found that organizations that focus beyond profits and create "a culture of purpose" are more likely to find long-term success. An overwhelming majority of respondents who said their company has a strong sense of purpose also said their company has a history of strong financial performance.
Moreover, the survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive, identified many activities that contribute to creating a sense of purpose at work, including activities that make a positive impact on clients, employees, communities and society.
When asked what types of efforts they considered helpful in achieving a sense of purpose, employees and executives both recognized many activities as strong factors — such as products and services that make a positive impact on clients, employee development and mentorship and volunteerism.
The survey results also shine a light on the impact business can have on government and nonprofits. Both employees (46 percent) and executives (60 percent) strongly agreed that government cannot reach its full potential without the help of the business community. Furthermore, employees (45 percent) and executives (54 percent) also agreed that nonprofits cannot reach their full potential without the help of the business community.
Respondents who said their organization had a strong sense of purpose were more likely to say their company had performed well financially over the last year (90 percent) and historically (91 percent). They also were more likely to say their company had a distinct brand that stood out among competitors (91 percent), strong customer satisfaction (94 percent) and strong employee satisfaction (79 percent).
By comparison, of the respondents who said their organization did not have a strong purpose, far fewer said their company had performed well financially over the last year (65 percent) or historically (66 percent). They were also less likely to say their organization had a distinct brand that stood out among competitors (61 percent), had strong customer satisfaction (63 percent) and strong employee satisfaction (19 percent).
In addition, a large majority (85 percent) of executives were more likely to agree that their company's sense of purpose is part of the reason they chose to work there, compared with 61 percent of employees who agreed that a strong sense of purpose was one of the reasons they selected their employer.