Focusing on ‘purpose handprints’ can turn employees into advocates

Reaching each employee requires a strong brand belief system, along with managers who are ready to deliver it.

A shared sense of purpose can close the distance between the most remote teams, transforming employees into advocates whether they work at a desk or on a factory floor.

But reaching each employee also requires a strong brand belief system, along with managers who are ready to deliver purposeful messaging and encourage employees to share their stories with the rest of the organization.

Jared Curtis, director of corporate communications at Maximus, and Kristen Clonan, partner at Finn Partners, offered their tips for empowering employees to engage on purpose during a panel at PR Daily’s Purpose & Corporate Social Responsibility Summit on March 1. The panel was moderated by PR Daily editor-in-chief Ted Kitterman.

Show employees the ‘why’ to make purpose personal

While many organizations once considered profit as a prerequisite to purpose, more companies are building purpose into the company’s enterprise value by getting their employees onboard with purpose first. “Profit is the product of purpose,” said Clonan. “As employees, we come to work every day needing to believe in a mission to bring that mission forward.”

Clonan added that communicators could rethink what it means to engage a workforce around purpose by looking at it through the lens of incentivization instead of just performance. “We talk too much about our purpose footprint,” she said, “but we’re not talking about the handprints enough.”

The rest of this story is exclusive to Ragan’s Communications Leadership Council, a membership group for senior-level internal communicators. For more information, contact 

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