People sometimes see purpose as a fluffy concept – and this can lead to scepticism. To show it’s more than just words, it needs to be measured to demonstrate a business progressing towards its vision.
If you believe your business is improving the world, you need to have evidence to back up your claim. Many assume there’s no way of measuring the effects of purpose on an organisation – but they’re mistaken.
“It’s about proving you’re living and breathing your purpose. Lots of companies rush to have a purpose but is that purpose credible? Can you actually deliver on it? Can you demonstrate that what you’re doing is linked back to it?”
Peter Edwards, Director of External Communications, RB
Purpose can be measured in many different ways. You can start by setting KPIs across every function in the organisation – from Marketing and Sustainability, to HR and your Leadership teams: Are your people living your purpose? Do all your stakeholders understand it? Is your purpose being communicated properly? Depending on your ambitions, you can go as far as setting medium and long-term targets to measure the impact of your purpose. Are your products actually inspiring athletes or improving people’s lives? Both Nike and Pearson are measuring this respectively.
“We measure our science-led purpose in many ways, in our digital communications we do have site surveys, we have an elaborate analytics framework, we look to see what science-led content works. We're finding that our priority audiences now consider us to be more science-led than we used to be.”
Roeland van der Heiden, Digital Director of Corporate Affairs, AstraZeneca
There’s no right or wrong way to measure purpose. Setting ambitious goals and being honest about your progress can only play in your favour, as long as you demonstrate how committed your business is in making a difference. In this cynical post-truth world, people are more sceptical than ever, so measuring purpose is key to building trust and buy-in.