Leadership Management

How to Measure the ROI of Your Purpose Driven Initiatives

Check it out what you will find on this article about the importance of purpose driven initiatives:

At the face of it, being purpose driven just makes intuitive sense. Of course we should all go after the things that we really care about, try and make a difference in the world and leave our marks. But making the business case for a purpose driven strategy leaves many decision makers scratching their heads, and for a good reason too. How exactly does one measure the impact of what’s essentially a state of mind? 

This confusing state of affairs is aptly reflected in most business leader’s view on purpose. A survey by PwC found that 79% of business leaders believed their brand’s purpose was central to its success. And yet 68% also said their purpose wasn’t being measured or being used to take business decisions or form processes. 

What everyone agrees on however is that being purposeful does matter. For instance, 8 in 10 American consumers report they are more loyal to purpose driven brands. Similarly, millennials in the workforce are far more likely to work with brands that are trying to do more than just make a profit. And, there is good evidence that suggests purpose driven brands are far less likely to suffer from high turnover rates. 

 

While there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that points to the value of purpose at workplace, brands need to find ways to measure the impact of their purpose, too. Without measurement, a company will never know whether their purpose even has any effect on the world, whether their customers, employees and shareholders are benefiting from it and if the company is on track. Is what a company busy calling its purpose really even a purpose, or is it just kidding itself? Here are a few ways to make sense of and track your purpose. 

What the *Bleep* Does Purpose Even Mean?

We already have terms like “vision,” “mission” and “values” appearing all too commonly in business plans and presentations alike. Don’t they all mean purpose? Yes and no. A brand’s purpose essentially circles back to the core problem it’s trying to solve. 

Most business founders start because they were confronted with a problem that didn’t have any immediate solution, or because they saw a better way to do something. Their company then simply becomes a channel through which they share their discoveries and tools they developed with other people, making their lives better.

Jim Stengel, author of the critically acclaimed book “Grow” says that an organization can only say it has purpose if it has one of the following in its culture:

  • Elicit joy
  • Enable connection
  • Inspire exploration
  • Evoke pride
  • Impact society

There are a lot of companies that make good examples of each. For instance, Google is a great example of a company that enables connections and inspires exploration, Apple and Harley Davidson are both companies that elicit joy and evokes a sense of pride in their customer. Finally, Greenpeace is an organization that is having a powerful effect on society via its environmentally friendly and educational initiatives.

Where does your organization fall in this spectrum? Have you defined your organization’s purpose? If not, then consider asking what coaxed you (or its founders) to get started in the first place. Here are a few ways you can keep tabs on how well your organization’s purpose aligns with the real world and your business interests.

 

Productivity and purpose are certainly interlinked. Here are a few tips on improving productivity throughout your organization.

Tracking Your Purpose Driven Initiatives

To turn your philosophy into a business strategy requires one to identify all its key performance indicators first. The following attributes are a great way for a purpose driven organization to keep track of its activities and strategy…

Employee engagement and attrition rate: Charity begins at home, so, the first order of business will be to gauge whether the people working within your organization identify with your purpose. Most companies like to send out an engagement survey once a quarter or year, however these rarely capture the complete picture, if at all. 

As Forbes writer Liz Ryan puts it – “Employee Engagement Surveys are the business equivalent of giving the prisoners in a penitentiary a survey to complete once a year and slide through the bars of their cells. The survey process cements an unequal power relationship.” In other words, employees are far more likely to give the “everything’s ok” impression in their answers to keep their jobs. 

A better way will be to create a system of anonymous feedback and use it to improve the operational efficiency of everyday work. For instance, Google had launched Project Oxygen to ascertain whether managers made any real difference to work. Using surveys and feedback from their People’s Operations team, they found that great managers indeed did lead productive, happy teams. They also flattened their organizational structure, allowing for views and feedback to flow more freely. 

Closely related to employee engagement is an organization’s turnover rate. The less employees are satisfied, the more they are likely to leave, and vice versa. Measuring turnover is pretty easy as all you have to do is compare your organization’s rate to the industry standard. The modern workforce is already looking for brands that go beyond salary and benefits as sign up incentives. So, consider making your purpose an integral part of your messaging strategy to attract talent that resonates with it. 

 

Your office will already present all the symptoms of whether everyone agrees with your purpose. Here’s more on how to create a great workplace culture.

Social advocacy

You know you’re doing it right when your customers, clients and audience members are talking about you. The best purpose driven brands ensure they are on top of their social media game and go above and beyond to encourage online visibility. Your advocates can be employees, customers or simply people who identify with what you’re doing, or, the solutions you are providing. 

Start by defining the goal of your advocacy program. Are you looking to increase the number of impressions of your branded content? Or, will you prefer to look out for number of visitors from social media channels? Do your social media posts get shared, commented on or liked? 

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is an awesome metric that can be used here. To calculate your NPS, survey your customers and ask them how likely they are to recommend your product/service to their friends and family on a scale of one to ten. The respondents can be categorized as:

  • Promoters: Those who respond with a 9 or 10.
  • Passives: Those with a score of 7 or 8.
  • Detractors: Those who respond between 0 and 6.

Your NPS can be calculated by subtracting promoters minus detractors. So, if in a survey of 100 people, 60 are promoters, 15 are passives and 45 are 25 are detractors, then your NPS is 25. A promoter score (along with the survey) can help you determine how satisfied your customers are and where you need to improve. 

Also, it’s best to train your employees to become brand advocates. A company, regardless of its intent will always come off as a nebulous, domineering entity that most people won’t want to engage directly with. On the other hand, they will feel much more at ease when sharing with an employee. 

Beyond mere advocacy, social engagement can also be used to understand what your customers are looking for, too. More often than not, you will find great ideas on how to improve  your product and service.

 

Rather than leaving your purpose to the wind, you can create special wellness programs to help your employees resonate with your ideals and strive ever higher too.

Brand Loyalty

Easily the biggest attribute of any purpose driven brand is how loyal their client base is to them. Take Apple for example. The company is already the most valuable brand on the planet, and is widely cherished by its customers. Suffice to say, any company will want the love and attention that Apple has. There are a bunch of metrics you can use track how loyal your existing clientele is…

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): A purpose driven brand needs to track its customers over the entire time they choose to stay with it, not just the first purchase. There are several ways to calculate your CLV. This article explains each one of them in great detail.

Repeat Purchase Rate (RPR): Is the ratio between the number of clients vs the number of clients who have purchased more than one time. 

 

Active Engagement Rate (AER): The AER measures how your clients are engaging with your brand over a period of time and equals the number of users who have engaged with your messaging divided by your total number of users. 

Circling Back to What Really Matters

We all know that being purpose driven is important in life. Even so, whether our purpose is having the impact we thought it would requires constant tracking and optimization, particularly if it has the livelihood of employees at stake. There are plenty of metrics that purpose driven organizations can use to gauge how well their intent is translating into real-world well-being. 

But companies that want to turn their purpose into a decisive strategic advantage need to ask some hard questions like – why does our company exist? Are we making a difference in our customer’s lives? Is our solution more effective than our competitors? Answering these questions won’t just help you understand purpose, but will also found deeper connections and long-lasting relationships with your clients and audience alike. 

Part of tracking your purpose is knowing how well you are spending your time on things that matter. At RunRun.it, we know the importance of time tracking and helping everyone get a clear picture of how well their efforts are translating into real-world success. We offer a free trial so, give it a whirl. Feel free to send us any questions, too. We’re always happy to help!

Purpose Driven

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