All too often, companies define a new Purpose or Mission and then set about making their employees embrace it. It becomes a classic top-down thing, and meets with a ‘meh’ response from the very people who are charged with making it happen.
KPMG, the global professional services firm, defined their Purpose as ‘Inspire Confidence, Empower Change’. Instead of doing the standard ‘cascade’ focusing on the firm’s Purpose, they instead focused on the Purpose of each employee.
“We recognized that just telling people from the top down about their higher purpose would not succeed,” says Bruce Pfau, KMPG’s vice chair of Human Resources, quoted in this excellent HBR article. “We encouraged everyone—from our interns to our Chairman—to share their own stories about how their work is making a difference.”
Senior leaders kicked off the ‘10,000 Stories Challenge’ with a video asking employees to share how their work makes a difference and frame it on a poster. Employees used a custom-designed online tool to create their own (templated) poster and submit it to the gallery.
In the end 40,000 employees designed their poster. Following the Purpose campaign, KPMG’s employee engagement survey scores have soared: 85% of employees now consider the firm a great place to work and 86% of employees say they are proud to work at the firm.
Read more: KPMG Purpose
Image credit: KPMG