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The workplace is constantly transforming, and businesses must consider employee and consumer expectations in fresh and fast-evolving ways. Increasingly, job seekers express interest in working for mission-driven businesses, and consumers are looking to buy from brands they believe in, so embracing purpose has become a new vital component of success.
Some tips on becoming more purpose-driven in your endeavors:
1. Find Your “Why”
People often ask themselves, “What gets me out of bed in the morning?” The answer should be motivating, inspiring… should express a true reason for what you do, and the best leaders should encourage us to explore this “why.” It’s a question that forces us to look introspectively and helps ensure that we are living and acting with purpose.
Starting a business is challenging, of course, and understanding a broader purpose will help provide a solid foundation. It’s far too easy to forget our “why” and simply operate, but it’s vital that yours should be ingrained in everything you do.
2. Be Genuine
In recent years, authenticity has become the gold standard for how businesses should operate, publicly and privately. Being authentic means being genuine and true to who you are. It helps establish reliability and trustworthiness, and can also inform good business decisions. Case in point: at The UPS Store, we recently introduced a new program called Start Small, Grow Big, which enables customers across our network of more than 5,100 centers to donate to Junior Achievement upon checkout — contributions that fund career readiness and entrepreneurship lessons for school-aged children. Supporting the next generation of business owners is a natural extension of our “why,” and complements our overall purpose.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Stance
Truly being a purpose-driven business means acting on your mission and values, no matter what. In an opinionated world, some believe that taking a stance, particularly political or social, could alienate certain audiences. However, if that position aligns with your “why” — is authentic to your spirit — it’s worth acting upon, because today, employees and consumers can easily identify when an enterprise is talking the talk versus walking the walk.
4. Be “Always On” in Efforts
Being purpose-driven is not a one-time proposition — ideally, it’s ingrained in everything your operation does, so being “always on” in mission efforts will give your company additional credibility. It can be easy to make purpose-based decisions during important cultural and societal moments, but it’s crucial to act with purpose not just when it’s advantageous to do so. No matter how seemingly small, each decision or strategy should be considered through this purpose-driven lens.