by Chris Tiglas, Kyle Gerjerts

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In a 2015 Harvard/EY survey of 400+ global executives…
89% said a strong sense of collective purpose drives employee satisfaction. Eighty-four percent said it can affect an organization’s ability to transform, and 80% said it helps increase customer loyalty.

…but only a minority said their company currently runs in a purpose-driven way. And 58% of those prioritizing purpose said they experienced growth of 10% or more over the previous three years. Today’s talent is driven by a higher calling. Achieving that calling also delivers a better customer experience, which leads to better business results. Team members seek work that elicits passion and helps them pursue professional, personal and social goals simultaneously. Providing experiences to team members that promote a strong sense of purpose is smart for our customers and smart business.

We are responding to this opportunity by driving team member experience, purpose driven leadership and an emotional connection with our brand to improve our customer experience. To build a customized and differentiated leadership model to support this response, we talked to customers, team members, cause partners and suppliers/health partners. When these groups think about our Purpose—To champion everyone’s right to be happy and healthy—and the behaviors they would expect to see from an organization who lives this purpose, a few themes rang loud and clear—Care, Win Together & Inspire. Our new leadership model is built around these themes. Our case study provides insight into how we are driving our Purpose and these new leadership behaviors through core talent processes & infrastructure, as well as a learning approach to help ignite a paradigm shift that supports a customer-first, purpose-driven culture. We’ve built a learning experience that supports real-time qualitative diagnostics to promote the kind of jolting and disruptive dialogue that will help drive this kind of transformative change for our organization.

We’re getting very positive feedback about our new Leadership Model—it’s simple, easy to understand and resonates with our team members. That said, there’s opportunity in how our team members are able to internalize the behaviors. As it relates to our activation experience, we’re learning a few things:

  • Leader-led is critical—not only for leaders to experience the workshop themselves first, but also how they lead and participate in the sessions for their teams (NOT HR-delivered).
  • Driving customer throughout the dialogue is also critical. Team members are able to connect the new leadership behaviors to each other and their teams, but connecting back to customer is ultimately the mindset that we are looking to ignite.
  • Small groups are also key to success. We’ve been conducting the workshop with a few pilot groups, and a smaller, more intimate setting helps induce some really great self-discovery moments.
Kyle Gerjerts
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