You hear about non-profit companies having notoriously low salaries, poor compensation packages, toxic work environments, and poor leadership. So how do they find and keep great employees?
The answer is simple: purpose.
In a world that is growing more and more distant and distracted, people are struggling to find a clear purpose. Those who find it at work tend to be happier and to stay longer. It's a lot easier to work with a company who supports a mission you believe in rather than to work 9-5 and then have to find your own way and on your own time to give back in order to feel connected to your purpose.
Why A company Culture of Purpose Increases Engagement
Here's the thing. You don't need to run a non-profit to infuse a sense of purpose into your company culture.
According to Gallup, "in a purpose-driven culture, employees have a heartfelt sense of ownership for their purpose: Purpose energizes teams, informs their decisions and guides their day-to-day behavior."
For those of you running a residential construction business like remodeling and home building, this is great news. It means you can help combat the construction industry's labor shortage and high turnover rates by doing good - for your team, your clients, and for your community.
At Builder Funnel, there are a few key ways we build purpose into our culture. It all starts with our Core Values, Core Purpose, and Brand Pitch.
- Core Values: Always be learning. Deliver positive customer experiences. Achieve more together. Do the right thing. Always be teaching. (*Honorary: Always be pushing the limits.)
- Core Purpose: To foster growth in individuals and companies. This includes and starts with our team. If you join our team, expect to change, improve, and grow. You should be a new person every 12 months.
- Brand Pitch: We help remodelers and builders grow through strategic digital marketing.
If you join Builder Funnel, you can immediately feel that all of these weave together to build our DNA as a team. They guide how we look at the work that we do every day. The goal for these strands of DNA is to inspire us to feel connected as a team through our united purpose despite being remote, working in different departments, and focusing on unique KPIs by role.
But this only gets us to win-win. Our team wins because we support one another in our growth towards becoming the best digital marketing partner for all remodelers and builders. And our clients win because, well, re-read that last statement.
We know that when we grow as individuals at Builder Funnel, that means our clients will feel that impact and grow through the results that our team generates. As our clients grow, they're motivated to keep growing and invest in Builder Funnel as their long-term marketing partner. And as we grow, we invest back in our team and give back to our communities.
Getting to Win-Win-Win
The first two make sense and are natural consequences of one another. If the service provider does a great job, the receiver benefits. They're more likely to be willing to spend more if they keep benefiting. Both companies grow side by side.
But the third win is actually where the culture magic happens. The motivation comes from somewhere more pure than two businesses growing together.
And it's something that usually your employees can only find outside of work. That's why it's so much more special when you can invite them to be a part of that community win while at work.
Once you've wound purpose into the DNA strands that make up your culture, it will only make sense to do more. Here are a few ways Builder Funnel has built win-win-win experiences with purpose-driven cultural events:
- adopting a local family in need over the holidays and shopping together for their gift wish list
- adopting a trail at Garden of the Gods and regularly spending lunch breaks picking up trash to keep it clean
- volunteering for an entire day at a Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity build to support those experiencing houselessness in Colorado Springs (our HQ)
- participating in, advocating for, and donating to Movember every November to destigmatize men's mental health
Let's use Movember as an example of curating a win-win-win purpose-driven culture.
Win #1: Team Happiness
From the bottom of our hearts, our whole team cares so much about Movember. Men are disproportionately impacted by suicide, and two of the highest hit industries are veterans and construction. Nearly 1/3 of our team is a military spouse or kid, and we are committed to improving the lives of our soldiers. We also work 5 days a week in the construction industry, and we hope to leave an impact so large here that the whole of construction is changed for the better.
The whole month of November feels like a different company at Builder Funnel. We challenge each other for steps, support each other in sharing our vulnerable moments of struggle, and we bond on an inevitably human level.
Anecdotally, I know team happiness increases because a typical day in November looks like: team meetings transformed to walking meetings, everyone sharing in their slack status when they're out moving for Movember, mustaches added to headshots in email signatures, competitive jabs, encouraging reminders, and so many mustache puns.
Objectively, I know team happiness increases because I measure it through engagement surveys, 1:1 meetings, and manager pulse checks.
Win #2: Client Engagement
When Movember season rolls around, we always let our clients know what we're up to at Builder Funnel. We usually send several emails sharing what Movember means to us as individuals and as a team. Our social media feed overflows with the team sharing how they participate in Movember.
And our clients let us know that they love it. In fact, some get involved and will also shift meetings to walk and talks, raise awareness about men's mental health through their own brands, and donate to the worthy cause.
Adding purpose into client communication proves them right for choosing Builder Funnel. We want clients to know that they're part of something bigger when they work with us. Our logo and our brand should mean something to them - not just marketing metrics and revenue results.
Standing for something and supporting our clients in our movement is also a deposit in the trust bank, as Stephen Covey preaches. When our clients see that we're humans just doing our best to do the right thing inside and outside of work, they're a lot more likely to forgive us when we make a mistake.
Anecdotally, I know client engagement increases from the sheer amount of emails, praise, social posts, and comments on client calls our team receives.
Objectively, I know client engagement increases from satisfaction surveys and tracking and measuring our Net Promoter Score (NPS).
Win #3: Community Involvement
You can see where I'm going with this.
Not only is our team directly reaching out to their friends, family, and followers to increase awareness and to ask for donations, but now so are our clients. It's a message that spreads like wildfire in communities who need to hear it - like construction and military.
Every mo've, every mo'stache, and every mo'ney is flooded with purpose. Our team and our clients are (together) helping those in need, increasing awareness and acceptance, and seeing our impact through immediate positive reinforcement. And, we hope, our brand will become synonymous with bettering.
Because we all want to be a part of something bigger. Something that matters.
Where To Start
Hubert Joly, author of The Heart of Business, states it simply in his 2022 Harvard Business Review article: "Think of purpose, strategy, and culture as a triangle: Each angle connects with and shapes the other two, and if one changes, the other two must evolve and adjust to maintain balance and shape, or the triangle breaks and falls apart."
Most businesses have a strategy. If you're unsure if you have a company culture or a purpose that suits your business, start by building your triangle.
And if you're not sure how to build your triangle? As Stephen Covey suggests in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, just begin with the end in mind. Why would YOU want to work at your company? Visualize what that company culture should look and feel like.
Once you've built your triangle, here's how you can get your team involved in your new win-win-win purpose:
- Pick a purpose that matters to all 3: your team, your clients, and your community. If you're not sure what matters to your team and clients, just ask!
- Inspire team leaders rather than always leading the charge yourself. You're there to role model, facilitate, and support. But action means buy-in, so it's most effective at the team level instead of the leadership level.
- Encourage involvement through culture. This can mean shifting meeting types and schedules, hosting events, and asking for feedback on how to do better.
Ultimately, you may not get it right the first time. Keep trying. The results are worth it.
Here are ours:
- 2023 team retention rate = 100%
- 2023 client retention rate = 95%
- 2023 NPS = 75%
One Step Further
A couple of years ago, Builder Funnel went all in on purpose as a key element of our company culture. We decided that it doesn't just have to be about what we decide is purposeful. Everyone can decide for themselves.
The best way we've found to support this is through Paid Volunteer Time Off. Every team member accrues 4 hours of paid time off per quarter to give their rarest resource (time) to their chosen purpose. Here are just a few ways we've seen team members choose to donate their company-paid time to better their own communities and sense of personal purpose:
- working on a community farm
- reading with those struggling to learn the skill
- volunteering at a kids summer camp for cancer survivors
You'll be shocked to see the impact even 16 hours of giving back can look like. At Builder Funnel, that amounts to >400 hours of community service annually. That doesn't include company-hosted initiatives like Movember. And every single one of those hours matters to someone in need.
If you're just getting started, here's your quick hitting list of how to get moving:
- Win #1: boost team happiness by layering purpose into daily work
- Win #2: drive client engagement by inviting them to join your movement
- Win #3: see the direct impact of your team's and your client's work on your local community
And if you're looking for more support and accountability to develop your culture, join hundreds of remodelers and builders just like YOU in our Remodeler Growth Community! Membership is totally free, so come join our discussions and grow together!