The paper defines organisational purpose as;
“An organisation’s meaningful and enduring reason to exist that aligns with long-term financial performance, provides a clear context for daily decision making, and unifies and motivates relevant stakeholders.”
The paper highlights the benefits of embedding purpose within an organisation and outlines the risk of benchmarking organisational performance exclusively through a financial lens.
The paper criticises attempts by business to “cynically uphold a respectable image” through the “weak and outdated” approaches to corporate social responsibility (CSR).
The report heralds ‘purpose’ as a powerful business tool which can:
- Increase legitimacy
- Attract and retain talent
- Drive strong stakeholder and customer relationships
- Increase employee psychological welfare
- Increase business performance
CIPR’s President-elect, Emma Leech, commented;
This report is a welcome and essential resource for business leaders. It confirms the CIPR’s position on social purpose as a proactive approach to maximising business performance whilst minimising risk. Customers, stakeholders and employees are increasingly demanding more than just a focus on financial performance and, in an age of transparency, it is increasingly difficult to convince them if this is not happening.