Opinion: How to turn business purpose into profit-making reality

Barrett, Kevin

In my last article, I wrote about the importance of articulating the ‘why’ of business to employees, in order to help translate lofty company missions into meaningful activities and to create a shared sense of purpose.

But answering the question ‘how’ is equally important. How do you bring to life a company’s purpose and deliver commercial success in a fast-moving world?

First, it is vital to reward the behaviours you want to see. This starts with recruiting the right leaders and making sure they are living and breathing the values in their own way – if they aren’t, no one else will bring them to life. But having the right team in place is only the start – you need to make sure that success in behaving the right way is acknowledged and celebrated.

The incentives for this do not need to be simply financial rewards. At Howdens we reward team performance with a share of the profits, but we also frequently provide other treats, from large trips to small gift boxes, when we want to demonstrate that we value our people, or we simply want to say thank you.

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