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How To Go Beyond ‘Purpose’ To Attract Top Talent

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Suresh is the Co-Founder & Chairman of Mindsprint, as well as the Co-Founder & CEO of Nupo Ventures. Both are businesses of Olam Group. getty I have spent 28 years in an industry that offers immense potential to positively transform the lives of multiple stakeholders simply by reimagining one’s business and anchoring it to a strong purpose. A strong purpose attracts diverse global talent to join you on the transformational journey. However, our organizational restructuring diluted our once-strong purpose as a group, resulting in the formation of five distinct groups. This prompted me to think about the relevance and importance of “purpose,” and how it can be complemented by other elements to continue attracting the best diverse talent and fuel a transformational journey. Often, in an organization’s journey and evolution, it’s natural to look within and redefine its purpose. This purpose acts as a “North Star,” a rallying point for every employee, attracting individuals who resonate with the organization’s larger mission or who find alignment with their own personal purpose in some way. It is the foundational element that clearly conveys the “why” and helps to build trust and transparency with broader stakeholder groups who are essential to collaborate with and contribute to the success of your long-term goals. A purpose defines a culture, establishes the foundation for value systems and shapes an organization’s strategy, vision and specific business goals to measure progress and success. But is that enough? MORE FOR YOU Google Chrome Gets Third Emergency Update In A Week As Attacks Continue Japanese Fans Are Puzzled That Yasuke Is In Assassin s Creed Shadows Forbes Releases 2024 30 Under 30 Asia List In my 28-year journey with my organization, I have witnessed our governing objective or purpose change from “maximizing shareholder value” to “reimagining global agriculture and food systems,” and then to each operating group having its own purpose post-restructuring. “Reimagining global agriculture and food systems” is a powerful purpose statement that succinctly encapsulates our lofty aspirations of wanting to leave a lasting impact on one of the most important sectors: food and agriculture. It’s not just about us, but rather how we, leveraging our deep expertise, presence and latent assets, can positively impact millions of farmers, thousands of customers and other stakeholders in the food supply chain. It’s a cause that is bigger, one to which everyone can stay committed. However, simply having a purpose, no matter how noble, is not enough. Organizational priorities, strategic vision, and a solid plan of action must be laid out to live the purpose. To truly thrive in today’s dynamic world, every organization needs to create an environment where purpose or mission is strongly complemented by a superior value proposition. This allows you to attract the best talent through alignment with their personal ambitions, especially in an era of rapidly changing workforce landscapes post-Covid. We can only go as far as our people can take us; they write the success story of our journey. What exists beyond purpose? Can purpose alone guarantee a high-performing and engaged workforce? Purpose helps to clarify the “why” of a company, but backing it up with a differentiated employee value proposition that enriches their experience, contributes to new learnings and helps in the progress of the company will be essential. Today, employees are keen to join organizations that have a defining DNA where the work is more than just a job. How do you offer this experience to employees? The group restructuring of my current employer led to the establishment of the captive technology and shared services division as an independent arm, positioned to serve both captive and new third-party requirements. Being in a high attrition industry and now separated from a group deeply involved in agriculture with a great purpose, I began to think about how we could continue building a high-performance organization and attracting top talent. Should I focus on crafting a new purpose as a technology services player, or should I work on strengthening other aspects of our value proposition to appeal to the modern workforce? I believe a holistic offering to employees should include, among others, the following: 1. A strong culture of innovation that pushes the boundaries and encourages people to experiment with new things 2. A robust learning and development program that continuously reskills and upskills employees in a rapidly changing technology environment 3. A degree of autonomy to make decisions at different levels, which serves as a true testament to a flat organization 4. A clearly articulated communication strategy that tangibly conveys and helps every employee relate to the outcome the company has achieved (i.e., What has been their role—albeit a tiny one?) 5. An entrepreneurial culture that dares employees to dream We must weave the purpose and ambition of employees together for a win-win scenario. In addition to aligning the overarching purpose with an employee’s personal mission, it is equally important to complement this with a superior value proposition. This not only lends credibility to the purpose but also helps organizations attract top talent and build world-class companies. Employees feel motivated and fulfilled and see a clear path to their growth. They are energized by every challenge thrown their way and won’t stop until they reach the end goal. The organization benefits from a more engaged workforce, a constant flow of fresh ideas and a heightened sense of purpose that attracts and retains top talent. This constructive collaboration fosters a sustainable future, where both individuals and the organization thrive. Building an organization on a sturdy foundation of purpose is essential. But for true success, we must go further. By aligning that purpose with the personal ambitions of our employees, we create a vibrant ecosystem where purpose drives innovation, and ambition fuels growth. When an organization becomes not just a place to work, but a platform to pursue personal aspirations while contributing to a greater good, we unlock the true potential of our workforce and pave the way for a more meaningful and successful future for all. Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives. Do I qualify? Follow me on LinkedIn. Check out my website. Suresh Sundararajan Editorial Standards Print Reprints & Permissions

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