Deloitte’s Third Annual Core Beliefs & Culture Survey Says Focus on Purpose, Not Profit

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - In business a successful organisation has always been interpreted as one driven by profit. Well, not anymore. Deloitte’s third annual Core Beliefs & Culture Survey reveals that organisations with a strong sense of purpose—described as a focus on making a positive impact on customers, employees and the society in general—are more confident in growth prospects and are more likely to invest in initiatives that lead to long-term growth, and enjoy higher levels of confidence among key stakeholders. This year’s survey by Deloitte is designed to explore the concept of workplace culture, as defined by a set of timeless core values and beliefs, as a business driver.

Lack of business confidence has been a hindrance to economic recovery. This and last year’s report clearly show that focusing on purpose rather than profits is what builds business confidence. This is a critical finding and underscores the significant impact a 'culture of purpose' can play in fostering a thriving business community.

According to the results, 82 percent of respondents (executives and employees) who work full-time for an organisation with a strong sense of purpose say that they are confident that their organisation will grow this year, compared to 48 percent of those who do not have a strong sense of purpose. The survey identified similar gaps in levels of confidence when it comes to increasing investments in new technologies, developing new products and services, hiring and expanding into new markets.

Furthermore, respondents who work for organisations with a strong sense of purpose are more than twice as likely to say that their organisations plan to invest more in employee development and training in 2014. They also have higher levels of employee engagement. Organisations with a strong sense of purpose are buoyed by factors that are non-financial and more intangible, with a longer horizon for positive returns while others are often driven by short-term financial gain. Therefore, to rebuild and sustain business confidence, organisations that want to be exceptional must take the long view and invest for growth.

The differences are telling. Strong sense of purpose drives confidence internally, externally and provides a competitive edge. However, despite the advantages the research links to a strong sense of purpose, 20 percent of all respondents say that leadership fails to set an example for the rest of the organisation by truly living the organisation's purpose. The research also emphasises the need for leaders to not only articulate a culture of purpose but to visibly and consistently embody those behaviours. That is a terrific blueprint for any organisation that wants to become and remain exceptional.

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