Why your business needs a social purpose

by Nicola Middlemiss26 May 2016
Businesses that don’t have a distinct social purpose may be missing out on the very best of today’s young talent pool after a recent study revealed the majority of new graduates chose their current employer because they were looking for more than a pay cheque.

The report, conducted by PR agency Claremont, found that 60 per cent of millennials surveyed said their employer’s ‘sense of purpose’ was part of the reason they chose to work where they do.

The report defines ‘purpose’ as something that goes beyond corporate social responsibility and “is fundamental to how the business thinks and is at the heart of everything it does” – how the business makes a difference.

MasterCard CHRO Ron Garrow told HRM that the trend towards valuing social purpose is one that HR simply can’t afford to ignore.

“We really need to think about our employees as consumers and they have choices – they have choices just like they have choices on the way they shop and do all other things, they have choices on how they work,” he stressed. “It is about driving a consumer driven HR organization.”

Aside from being a key attraction tool, Garrow said major organizations should find a social purpose out of benevolence rather than just business.
“I can’t say all companies must [support a social purpose] but where I come from I think they should,” he told HRM.

“Can we benefit from that as a company? We can – but we shouldn’t go at it as we’re only doing this for the sake of making more money, we’re doing it to make this a better world and if more companies did that, I do think it would progress the world along in different ways.”
 

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