Once you've embedded your Purpose, it's important to measure how effectively it's being implemented.
How will you know if you have successfully started to embed your Purpose? The key is measurement.
This is perhaps one of the most critical elements – measuring the impact of your Purpose effort so you can demonstrate the clear difference that being Purpose driven is delivering in every area of your business.
Goals and objectives
We’ve developed The Purpose Measurement Framework to help you measure the impact of Purpose in your business.
This Framework includes some questions and suggested measures relating to four of the main pillars of Purpose: Customers, Employees, Society and the Environment (the other pillar is the benefits to the bottom line!). It also includes some questions about wider governance issues, which is a vital component of every Purpose-driven business.
When developing your strategy there are many ways to think about your impact and how you measure it. Including...
As you start to make decisions based on your Purpose, what is the impact on your customers? Are you making their lives better?
If you are improving their lives, how are you doing this? Perhaps you are helping them to feel part of a community, or maybe you are helping them to improve their health and wellbeing, nurture important relationships or contribute to society. Or perhaps you are helping them by ‘righting the wrongs’ of your industry and giving customers a fairer deal.
Whatever your impacts are, think about how you can measure not only the improvement to people’s lives, but also the impact that it has on issues such as customer advocacy and loyalty.
All employees in a business are essential to the delivery of Purpose, and helping understanding what your Purpose means to them, and helping them to identify what their role is in delivering it is vital. The Purpose Measurement Framework asks employees whether they feel the company makes decisions based on their Purpose, whether the leaders in the business are living the Purpose and also if they understand their role related to Purpose.
But what is the impact of this? At a personal level, is your Purpose helping your employees lead better lives? And in terms of business impact, are there benefits to employee engagement, such as increased productivity, lower absenteeism, reduction in churn or an ability to hire more cost-effectively?
How are your Purpose activities impacting wider society? Clearly your people and customers are in your community, but beyond them are you reaching more people and improving their lives?
Are you delivering economic empowerment through job creation, supporting entrepreneurs, or providing access to finance? Are you creating healthy behaviour change, or improving access to health services? Perhaps your Purpose is enabling you to increase accessibility or advocacy for marginalised groups? Or perhaps you are improving people’s confidence or helping to celebrate diversity.
Your impact on society extends far beyond the communities your activities are based in. It also includes your supply and value chain. Are you sure there are no negative labour practices in your supply chain, or are you enabling economic empowerment for those whose work is vital to the running of your business? Again, with all of these societal impacts, think about how that affects the bottom line. For example, how does it affect customer purchase intention when you communicate the positive impact you are having in society? Is this what differentiates you from competitors?
In this era of resource constraint, every business (whatever their Purpose) must consider their impact on the environment. In order for business to thrive in the future, and for customers and employees to live healthier, happier lives, we will increasingly have to operate our businesses acknowledging that there are finite limits to the Earth’s resources, and that negative environmental activities will ultimately affect everyone.
Your impacts on the environment are not restricted to your direct physical footprint (e.g. office buildings, retail outlets, service outlets, transport hubs), but extend throughout your supply chain and even to the way that your customers behave. At a basic level being more Purpose driven means effectively managing reductions in greenhouse gases, chemical use, fresh water use, waste and the use of raw materials. This should also include direct impact on wildlife and ecosystems.
For those who are thinking really big and want to innovate for success in a future world of 9 billion people, your Purpose will set you on the road to considering a transformation of the relationship between business operations and consumption. Again, measuring how this affects the bottom line is critical, but not always immediately obvious. Some of the impacts may involve a pay-back period of several years before you start to see net benefits. It may be that you measure other impacts by how they have helped mitigate current and future risks. The key with much of this is to take a longer term view of your business.
Setting long term goals and identifying milestones
When thinking about the impact of your Purpose, set your goals and identify short, medium and long-term milestones – this will ensure that your Purpose has a sustainable long term impact.
For help in setting these goals, visit Planning to take advantage of our free tools to help you achieve this.
And remember, help is always on hand not only from the Branson Centre team, but most importantly from this community of entrepreneurs who are collectively pushing the boundaries and challenging the status quo.
Post your questions, polls and inspiration on Connect to get help.