Purpose Pays: Korn Ferry Survey Shows Executives See Direct Link Between Purpose-Driven Leadership and Long-Term Company Financial Results

-- Company Mission/Values Top Reason to Choose One Employer Over Another --

Editor’s Note: Survey Responses at End of News Release, Infographic Here

LOS ANGELES--()--Purpose doesn’t just add to an employee’s well-being, it adds to a company’s bottom line. That according to a new Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY) survey of executives.

The vast majority of respondents (96 percent) agree that there is a long-term financial benefit to companies that make a strong commitment to purpose-driven leadership, with 77 percent agreeing “to a great extent.”

One of the reasons purpose-driven leadership may add to corporate financial gain, according to the survey, is the impact it has on employees. Eighty-nine percent of respondents believe understanding and embracing the mission/purpose of their organization increases employee productivity.

“Without embracing the purpose of an organization – the motivating force of why it is so important that we exist – employees will become disenchanted,” said Kevin Cashman, Korn Ferry global leader, CEO and Executive Development. “Many will leave, or worse yet, stay and not be engaged nor offer discretionary effort for their organization.”

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (59 percent) say their personal principal driver at work is the belief that their work has purpose and meaning. Only 11 percent say pay/financial rewards is their primary driver.

When asked about the main reason they would choose to work for one organization over another, the largest percentage (33 percent) note a company’s mission and values, followed by company culture (30 percent). Only 12 percent say the main reason they would choose one job over another is pay/benefits.

Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of respondents agree that people at their organization work primarily for reasons other than compensation.

“It’s important that day in and day out, organizational leaders live their purpose and mission. It must permeate all areas, from employee and customer interactions, to a go-to-market strategy and corporate social responsibility efforts,” said Cashman. “Being purpose-driven is not just a ‘feel good’ for companies – purpose motivates and elevates their competitive stance and financial performance.”

About the survey

There were 391 responses to the online executive survey, which took place in October 2019. Please note that due to rounding responses may not equal 100 percent.

Survey responses

Does understanding and embracing the mission/purpose of your organization increase employee productivity?

 

To a great extent

42 percent

To some extent

47 percent

To little extent

9 percent

There is no correlation

2 percent

 

 

Is there a long-term financial benefit to companies that make strong commitments to purpose-driven leadership?

 

To a great extent

77 percent

To some extent

19 percent

To little extent

0 percent

There is no correlation

4 percent

 

 

What is the main reason you would choose to work for one organization over another?

 

Company mission/values

33 percent

Company culture

30 percent

Career progression

14 percent

Benefits/pay package

12 percent

Company brand/reputation

5 percent

Flexible working

5 percent

Job stability

2 percent

 

 

What is your personal principal driver at work

 

The belief that my work has purpose and meaning

59 percent

The ability to be a leader

25 percent

Pay/financial rewards

11 percent

Recognition/social status

5 percent

 

 

To what extent would you agree with the statement “People work at my company primarily for reasons other than pay”

 

To a great extent

30 percent

To some extent

41 percent

Not at all

9 percent

To little extent

20 percent

 

 

Do your organization’s employees understand and embrace the mission/purpose of your organization?

 

To a great extent

37 percent

To some extent

37 percent

To little extent

19 percent

To no extent

7 percent

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We work with clients to design their organizational structures, roles and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people and advise them on how to reward, develop and motivate their workforce. And, we help professionals navigate and advance their careers.

Contacts

Tracy Kurschner
612.309.3957
Tracy.Kurschner@Kornferry.com

Contacts

Tracy Kurschner
612.309.3957
Tracy.Kurschner@Kornferry.com