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

September 15th, 2020

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.



Stacia Garr Redthread Research
Stacia Garr
Co-Founder & Principal Analyst