April 15, 2024


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In the flow of a workday, it’s easy to spend your time putting out fires — we’ve all been there. This reactionary brand of management results in a disconnected, chaotic feeling for everyone from the workforce to the customers. Focusing on your original vision for your company can create a synergy that connects your staff, your clients and the community you serve.

It’s possible to create a culture of purpose in your workforce and keep a positive, engaging reputation in the marketplace, but this will require that your executive team stays true to the original motivation you had in your mind and heart when you began your journey in business.

Related: Embrace Your Purpose As a Path to Success

1. Capture standout employees in the interview

Leadership and staff can work together to discover common ground and agree on goals, but this process begins in the interview. One of the best predictors of loyalty is a candidate’s desire to focus on meaningful work.

I run my company as a blind CEO. When I interview a candidate, I mostly want to learn why they want to work for me. I’m always shocked when job seekers reveal they have never been to the website as opposed to those who are excited to share why they feel connected to our mission. When I interview a candidate, it’s often the vulnerability in their answers that speaks to me. Sometimes the person I’m interviewing tells me of a personal disability or limitation, which to me is an act of openness and transparency. I love to hear people say they are passionate about working in an inspirational environment. When our conversation begins, I’m listening for a story.

What many candidates don’t know is the interviewer is waiting for them to have their breakout moment. This departure from the usual Q&A often reveals their passion for the work or vulnerability.

It’s important to make sure your interview questions allow you to see a prospective employee’s connection to your mission. You can start by asking candidates what measurable impact they would like to make in the position offered. You can also find out how they envision their work life five years from now.

2. Create a culture of engagement

Doing purposeful work means the executive team must create educational opportunities for staff as well as clients, extending engagement with the company beyond “business hours.” This is a chance to show your team and your customers that their needs matter beyond the job description or the product or service you offer.

Having a corporate reputation as a company that births new leaders and supports hard work and ambition will go a long way toward retaining good team members with the savvy to innovate, create and energize your workforce. Whether it is a group meeting or a corporate retreat, it’s important to mix staff together, allowing employees from across departments and positions to collaborate, exchange ideas, rise as leaders and support each other.

This kind of shift can start by simply reassigning tasks or creating challenges that give employees a chance to spread their wings. You can take some projects off the administrative assistant’s plate or reassign some items on the to-do list to a staff member who has shown initiative. A team member could send out invitations to meetings or reminders to committee members taken from a list of goals. A staffer could also create a committee to help plan a corporate event and see it through.

Keep a watchful eye on employees who stand out and give them the opportunity to be seen as experts. Let some be advisors, coaches or provide support to other team members. This will make the staff feel recognized and encourage others to rise to that purposeful level. This kind of support will give you a “pool” of potential leaders, helping your team members feel that their contributions are noticed and rewarded.

Related: 3 Reasons Why a Strong Purpose Is a Good Business Idea

3. Build a positive online reputation for your business

Although you can never eliminate negative reviews, the best approach to a positive corporate reputation is actively implementing a variety of ways to get reviews from employees and customers alike. While it’s estimated that 99% of customers read reviews from time to time, only 13% would choose a product or service from a company with a two-star rating.

There are several proven ways to generate positive reviews. The process can be as simple as using comment cards. You can also ask for an email address from the customer. Some businesses have a physical “register;” others have an email link where people can sign in and provide this information. From there, it’s easy to follow up and ask for a rating or comment. Other stores offer rewards in exchange for reviews. This offer is usually seen on banners or signs within the physical store, on the receipt (physical or via email) or on the company’s homepage. Some businesses use a QR code leading directly to the online review spot; you have likely seen a kiosk within the store allowing immediate feedback.

Another way to generate rave reviews is to get endorsements or recommendations from businesses you have partnered with over the years. These allies can speak of important attributes of your company that go beyond a rating system or short comment and may attract traffic to your website and new clients responding to the positive vibes.

The mantra “If you don’t ask, you don’t get” works well here. There are more ways to get positive feedback for your business than ever before thanks to evolving technology. Rather than running from a corporate fear of bad reviews, make it your business to seek and obtain the best reviews by engaging the community in the process.

You can direct your company’s reputation by finding new ways to engage your workforce and the people you serve. By promoting outstanding employees, offering training and opportunities for leadership and by making positive feedback a priority, your company can stop putting out fires and start basking in the culture of purpose you always intended.



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