Why do modern Companies need a Chief Purpose Officer?

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Author: Future Manager Research Center

In the years when Millennials represent the highest percentage of the workforce, companies must grasp the needs and ideas of a new generation.

Millennials are part of a generation profoundly different from the previous ones, of solid liberal principles, which gives value to social issues, both in the private and in the working life.

This new workforce, in fact, perceives a strong sense of duty and, in the choice of an employment, it evaluates corporate social responsibility, and therefore the implications of ethical nature within the company’s strategic vision.

In addition, they are more oriented towards jobs that stimulate them, that have a meaning and a precise purpose, within a company that represents its values.

The importance of clearly outlining and explaining what the company objectives are, is underlined by a Harvard study in which 83% of the CEOs surveyed stated that efficient motivational communication to employees about the purpose of their work can have a positive impact on performance.

Despite this, 70% of employees believe that the company they work for is concerned only with profits and not with the well-being of staff or, more in general, of society.

This is the reason why, to attract talents from the new generations, it becomes necessary to fill the purpose gap, the gap between the ability of a company to talk about its objectives and its goals, and to integrate this into strategic operations to encourage a positive change.

According to “The Business Case for Purpose“, the leaders who put at the center of their strategies the goals and the purpose of the job, manage to bring their company towards a process of transformation and innovation that, consequently, leads to an increase in turnover.

In this type of context, in which employees are the main stakeholders of a company and where the engagement of staff is often very low, several companies have included a new professional figure: the Chief Purpose Officer.

The CPO is usually an individual with extensive economic-financial experience, who has already assumed leadership roles in the past and who has a strong sense of ethical and social responsibility.

This professional figure has the task of analyzing what is the perception of the company from both an inside and outside point of view to improve it, by communicating about what their business is doing on a social level.

In addition to this, the CPO must also define the purpose of the company, so that each employee can understand the meaning of their job in order to contribute to a greater and general objective. This approach increases employees’ motivation, thus leading to a higher engagement and a better performance.