Employers hoping to stand out in today’s job market can do so by highlighting the purpose associated with their work, consulting firm Alight said in a white paper released Sept. 6.
In a survey conducted earlier this year, more than half of respondents told Alight that employers differentiate themselves by showing that they’re purpose-driven. Crucially, however, that purpose must align with workers’ values, especially for the youngest generations, the research revealed.
“Employees are seeking higher purpose from their work and choosing to work for employers that have purpose baked into their ethos,” said Kelley Michalik, chief marketing officer at the firm, in a statement announcing the research. “An organization’s commitment to its purpose has the power to strengthen the organization’s brand and set it apart from other organizations as an aspirational place to work.”
The benefits of a publicized purpose also extend beyond recruiting to retention, according to Alight’s survey. Employees who said they planned to stay with their current employers were more likely to say they felt connected to the company’s purpose.
The firm offered several suggestions for employers hoping to implement its recommendation. Among other things, HR can ensure the organization’s purpose aligns with workers’ ability to personally do meaningful work; create a clear strategy to communicate purpose to applicants and employees; and create a strategy to address social and political issues.
Many employers have already adopted such measures, but some fail to follow through, a report from professional services firm Deloitte concluded earlier this year. The firm surveyed C-suite executives and found that while most respondents appreciated the role purpose plays in talent acquisition, few employers had created accountability measures. Deloitte suggested employers link executive compensation to purpose priorities.