One of the fundamental truths that COVID has highlighted is how social we are as human beings. Our strong desire for connection has resulted both in positive adaptive behaviours (neighbourly support, fundraising and support for key workers), but also negative ones (people struggling with maintaining social distancing leading to a minority breaking important guidance on lockdown putting the whole community at risk). Either way, what it shows is how important purpose and community is to us as humans, especially when there is global external threat to all of us. It is this sense of ‘community working together’ that organisations should promote and support practically.
First of all, companies rely upon employees, their families, suppliers, customers, and partners to survive. Many companies that have been driven by a sense of purpose to help during COVID have done better economically than those who have not. In a recent article Marcus Remmers, the Chief Technology of DSM, said how inspired he was by his employees’ agility and ability to harness their capabilities when they had the shared sense of purpose of creating and manufacturing face mask products they had never produced before, in just a matter of weeks. He also pointed out how this sense of shared purpose had had a dramatic impact on employee engagement. It isn't all about the money, it’s about meaning. All companies should therefore look to describe how their employees can work together to create a workplace that delivers benefits for them, their families, their suppliers, customers and the community at large.
For more insights on this, look out for our next related post - COVID: Building the ‘New Workplace Normal’ - Every business and employee is uniquely valuable
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