Do I Believe in the Mission?

March 21, 2024by Jennifer Murray1

Do I Believe in the Mission?

Last month we talked about how important it is for team members to feel like they belong in their organization. We also shared numerous ways  to boost employee engagement by fostering belonging.

We have a simple system that measures seven factors that contribute to employee engagement. This month we will talk about the importance of believing in your organization. Both belonging and believing are essential ingredients. Engaged employees believe in the mission, the leadership team, and the values. They embrace the culture and contribute to the organization’s success with innovative ideas that stretch beyond their job descriptions.

In the Forbes article, How To Find A Greater Sense Of Purpose At Work,  89% of leaders surveyed said, “A strong sense of collective purpose drives employee satisfaction.” Yet only a minority (46%) stated their organization currently runs in a purpose-driven way. When companies have a clear mission, it “can lead to high levels of engagement, high levels of creativity, and the willingness to partner across functional and product boundaries within a company,” said Rebecca Henderson, the John and Natty McArthur University Professor at Harvard Business School.

Let’s assume that your organization is among the 46% that are running in a purpose-driven way. Finding, hiring, and retaining believers doesn’t come easily. It may seem obvious that you need to hire the right people. No one is trying to hire the wrong people. Sometimes organizations just need new tools and strategies to make hiring decisions that result in long-term employee journeys.

Before we start the talent acquisition process, let’s look at the organizational brand. I offer Murphy’s Naturals’ website as an example. Their website supports a strategic approach to talent acquisition. It clearly shows they believe in sustainability. “There’s not much stock to promising you earth-friendly products if we didn’t put the environment and people first when we made them. That’s why our motto is, ‘Doing Others Good. When you give 2% of revenue back to environmental, local nonprofits, and goodwill organizations, it really adds up.” This messaging attracts potential team members that have a passion for global sustainability.

Crafting a job post that describes the mission-driven organization, as well as the job requirements reinforces what applicants uncovered on the website. Together, the website and job post provide a consistent message that will either prompt applicants to continue with the application process or cause them to abandon their pursuit. Consider communicating your brand as a tool to screen for believers.

The next step is interviewing candidates to determine if there is a mutual fit. Finding the right skill set and experience is critical. Identifying people who also align with the culture will lengthen the employee journey. Some organizations use a panel interview or a series of interviews with multiple interviewers to identify individuals that seem to fit with the culture. Simultaneously, the interviewees are assessing their potential fit with the organization. They use the interview experience to determine if the job, team, and mission align with their expectations.

Multiple interviewers can increase the likelihood of selecting the best candidates, but even well-intentioned companies and well-trained interviewers may have biases that influence their selection process. I spoke with John Lane, Leadership Consultant with DBAJTL. He shared the benefits of using a predictive hiring tool. The OAD Assessment and Candidate Selection tool eliminates subjective analysis and compares candidate profiles to the ideal candidate profile. Ultimately, the organization gains deeper insights into a candidate’s fit within an organization, promoting better alignment and retention.

During the onboarding process, new team members will seek ways to connect with the organization’s mission. Managers have the ideal opportunity to incorporate the value of the new hire’s job to the business goals. Secondly, job shadow experiences demonstrate how each role contributes to the overall business goals and objectives. Additionally, throughout the employee journey, expressing gratitude for specific contributions reinforces the value and ties in the purpose of the organization.

Finally, we recommend a simple system that captures employee engagement data. One of our seven questions is, do I believe? If that measurement presents an opportunity for improvement, we implement solutions to bridge the gap. One of our clients registered over 60% engagement on their survey. Exceeding the US employee engagement average wasn’t accidental. It was the result of building an intentional culture that was grounded in a purpose-driven mission.

One comment

  • John Lane

    May 3, 2024 at 12:09 pm

    Thank you for the thoughtful article Jen. And for the shoutout.

    We do believe that employee engagement is a major issue in business today, and resolving these issues proactively can accrete significant value to the company. Leaders should be aware of the value, so they can make a strong business case to pursue the path outlined above.

    Reply

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2929 Breezewood Ave. Suite 101, Fayetteville, NC. 28303
Where to find us
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