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Purpose: The path to profitability AND personal wellbeing?


The business case for a ‘purpose-driven’ approach is easy to see: modern consumers care about the impact of our actions on the world around us and so brands that deliver what we need AND simultaneously ‘do good’ in the world are proving popular. Increased popularity leads to increased profits and growth, which leads to happy business owners.

In addition to providing benefits at a societal and business level, could embedding social purpose at the heart of businesses also have a wider benefit and be contributing to individual wellbeing?

Once upon a time, ‘working’ was all about having a steady job that brought home the bacon each week. As long as that job meant the bills got paid, people were happy.

But those days are long gone and job satisfaction is more important than ever. According to Investors in People, job satisfaction (or lack of it) is now the number one reason people start looking for new jobs, ranking higher than even pay.

While job satisfaction means different things to different people, more and more people are wanting to be involved with work that has a societal benefit. Workers reporting the highest levels of job satisfaction tend to work in jobs that they feel are worthwhile and useful.

The need to feel a sense of purpose is even more acute for the millenials who are now starting to climb the career ladder. A recent study found that 62% of people born between 1981 and 1996 want to work for a company that makes a positive imapact, and half value purposeful work above a high salary.

The drive to do work that makes a difference is about more than just ticking the job satisfaction box. It’s about satisfaction in all areas of life, not just work.

The days of working ‘9-to-5’ are long gone with modern technology meaning many workers literally take work home with them or find themselves reading work emails while they’re at home. As the thin membrane separating work and ‘life’ becomes ever more eroded, the greater the impact job satisfaction has on our whole life and sense of wellbeing.

By adopting a purpose-driven approach, companies are providing an opportunity for employees to edge their way up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs towards self-actualisation while also ensuring they’re earning enough money to pay the bills and put food on the table.

Purpose-driven business has the potential to improve employee wellbeing, while also boosting a company’s profits and contributing to social good. From every angle it seems to be a win-win.