15 September, 2020

The Purpose-Driven Organization: HR’s Opportunity During Crisis & Beyond

Stacia Garr
Co-founder & Principal Analyst

Karina Freitag
Research Lead

TL;DR

  • The flurry of significant events in 2020 have built a sense of urgency to act for the greater good of humankind. As a result, we’ve seen innumerable organizations rise to the occasion — acting with a greater and broader purpose, serving many stakeholders, not just shareholders.

    We wanted to understand better what is happening now, what we can learn from purpose-driven organizations’ approaches in the past, and what HR’s role is in making organizations purpose-driven. To that end, this report answers 4 questions:

    • What is purpose, and how does it differ from other related terms (e.g., mission, vision)?
    • What is HR’s role in creating a purpose-driven organization? What can it control and influence?
    • What does the employee experience look like at a purpose-driven organization?
    • What are some of the purpose-driven practices we’ve seen in response to significant current events?

    A special thank you to Cornerstone OnDemand for sponsoring this research.

The flurry of significant events in 2020 have built a sense of urgency to act for the greater good of humankind. As a result, we’ve seen innumerable organizations rise to the occasion — acting with a greater and broader purpose, serving many stakeholders, not just shareholders.

We wanted to understand better what is happening now, what we can learn from purpose-driven organizations’ approaches in the past, and what HR’s role is in making organizations purpose-driven. To that end, this report answers 4 questions:

  • What is purpose, and how does it differ from other related terms (e.g., mission, vision)?
  • What is HR’s role in creating a purpose-driven organization? What can it control and influence?
  • What does the employee experience look like at a purpose-driven organization?
  • What are some of the purpose-driven practices we’ve seen in response to significant current events?

This research is the culmination of more than 6 months of research, with updates and insights specifically targeted at organizations managing through COVID-19 and the social justice movements of 2020.

 

The Purpose-Driven Organization: HR’s Opportunity During Crisis & Beyond

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stacia Garr

Stacia is a Co-founder and Principal Analyst for RedThread Research and focuses on employee engagement/experience, leadership, DE&I, people analytics, and HR technology. A frequent speaker and writer, her work has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal as well as in numerous HR trade publications. She has been listed as a Top 100 influencer in HR Technology and in D&I. Stacia has an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.