Purpose, vision and organisational culture | S2 E32

First published: 21 December, 2021

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Engaging Internal Comms Series 2
Engaging Internal Comms Series 2
Purpose, vision and organisational culture | S2 E32

In the second compilation episode to wrap up Series 2 of the Engaging Internal Comms Podcast, Craig Smith uses some of the best insights from the episodes so far to explain the importance of purpose and vision within an organisation. Getting employees on board with this is crucial to having them all pull in the same direction and plays an important role in positively affecting their motivation and behaviours.

The value of a strong organisational culture has never been higher, and it is something every company should be striving towards. This episode features some practical advice on how communicators can go about sharing this with its employees, while the guests also discuss their own experiences in doing so.

S1 E4 – Dr Graham Ward – INSEAD Business School

As Adjunct Professor of Organisational Behaviour, Graham has a deep understanding of the importance of purpose in the workplace. In one of the first interviews of the podcast he spoke about the difference this can make in an organisation that is constantly changing and how it can help make these transitions easier.

His advice was to workshop this purpose and make it meaningful to employees. Organisations can start by asking themselves why they exist and then relaying this answer to employees and embedding it within their culture.

S1 E10 – Hannah Shepherd – Virgin Media

Hannah has worked in a variety of roles and has experience in implementing purpose into the roles of her employees. She shared some practical tips on how to do this and the benefits her organisation has seen from doing so.

Listening to employees and demonstrating behaviours to them is what has been most successful for her. She also told Craig how the use of user-generated content from Virgin Media’s employees and asking them what this purpose meant to them really allowed them to feel this.

S2 E21 – Laura Colantuono – Kraft Heinz

A strong set of values is something that can dictate how employees engage with an organisation’s culture and vision. Speaking earlier this year, Laura told the podcast about Kraft Heinz’s new set of values which was set to shape its future goals.

She mentioned some tangible examples about bringing these to life and how it played into the organisation’s purpose. Making them personal was influential in this and went a long way to moving away from simply broadcasting these values to allowing employees to effectively engage with them.

S2 E1 – Linda McCormack – Anglian Water

Having employees that take pride from performing their work and having them speak about their organisation with enthusiasm is often a result of a strong purpose and vision. This type of advocacy can bring a range of benefits and Linda McCormack spoke about how she had helped implement this at Anglian Water.

Similar to what Laura had done, Linda got the company’s employees involved in the very early stages when it came to outlining its culture. She described a purpose as a ‘north star’ which everyone should be aiming for but one that continuously drives positive change.

S1 E1 – Arafa Heneghan – AO

Matching an external brand to internal experiences is something Arafa spoke passionately about and is key to giving a sense of realism to an organisation’s purpose. Employees need to feel this in their day-to-day lives and see it across the rest of the organisation.

Living a company’s values and buying into this purpose is a two-way deal according to Arafa and helps make the workplace as enjoyable and frictionless as possible. She also touched upon how this needs to be a personal effort to help employees engage with the organisation’s purpose.

S2 E25 – Niall Ryan – Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)

The pandemic has been a challenging time for the DHSC, which means showing employees a relevant purpose and a strong vision was crucial. That task was handed to Niall, and here he outlines three main initiatives for doing this.

He spoke about how personal belonging to an organisation can help improve outcomes and allowing an employee to bring their whole self to work can go a long way to achieving this. On top of this, allowing conversation on this purpose and vision allows for it to continually improve and become more relevant to employees.

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