We all want to make a difference in the world around us. In a survey of employed recent college graduates, Net Impact found that current workers said that having an “impact job” (defined as a job that makes a difference socially or environmentally) was more important to them than having children, a prestigious career, wealth, and community leadership. Not only that, but 58 percent of college students about to enter the workforce said that they would take a 15 percent pay cut to “work for an organization whose values are like my own.”
Research also shows that people who have jobs where they directly help people—firefighters, physical therapists, clergy, teachers, and so forth—are the happiest in their jobs. While we can’t all work in these kinds of jobs, we can gain a tremendous amount of job satisfaction when we are able to rally around a noble cause.
A noble cause is an ideal or movement that has high moral qualities and is likely to make the world—or at least some small part of it—a better place.
Some companies exist to make a positive difference in the world around them. For example, Johnson & Johnson adopted its Credo in 1943—a statement that challenges employees to put the needs and well-being of the people they serve first. Making a difference in people’s lives is baked into Johnson & Johnson’s DNA, and as a result, the company attracts people who want to make a difference, too.
But what if your company doesn’t make or sell products or services that will have a direct and positive impact on the lives of others? Can you have a noble cause, too?
You most definitely can. In fact, every company should take a serious look at its purpose—the reason it does what it does—and find the noble cause within. Why? Here are 5 reasons why your company should have a noble cause, and then rally your employees—and your customers—around it.
1. You will attract and recruit the best people
We all want to work in a job where we’re making a positive difference in people’s lives—even if just a little bit. As a result, we are naturally attracted to, and want to work for, companies that are doing things to make people’s lives better.
2. Your employees will be aligned with your company’s purpose
When you recruit people who are attracted to your company’s purpose, they will already be aligned with it—making your job as a leader much easier. Instead of constantly working against you—or against the core values of your organization—your people will be working with you.
3. You’ll have increased employee engagement and loyalty
Happy employees are more engaged in their jobs and more loyal to the companies that employ them. As the Gallup Organization reports, 70 percent of American workers are not engaged at work. These unhappy employees cost American businesses billions of dollars in lost productivity each year, and they drag down the organizations for which they work. When your people are engaged in a noble cause, they will be more satisfied and engaged in their jobs.
4. Your organization will perform better
When employees are more engaged in their jobs, they are more efficient, effective, and productive—leading to more and better work product produced at a lower cost to your organization. These savings will flow directly to the bottom line.
5. You will attract the right customers
Just as your noble purpose will attract the right employees to your organization, so too will it attract the right customers. When your customers believe in your purpose and your company’s core values, they will enlist their family and friends in your cause—expanding your reach many times over.
So, what is your noble cause? And what are you doing to publicize it to your employees, your customers, and the rest of the world?