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How influential leaders communicate with purpose

Leaders who communicate with purpose — connecting their vision to the work employees do every day and taking a stance on difficult issues — have the best shot at strengthening a Hybrid 2.0 culture and keeping a job-hopping generation from leaving.

Yes, but: Lots of leaders are getting it wrong. Many think they’re effectively communicating their purpose to capture employees’ hearts and minds, but a recent Gallup poll shows: 

  • Less than 30% of employees surveyed agree. 
  • Only 40% strongly agree their company’s mission makes them feel their job is important. 

Why it matters: It’s no longer good enough just to say the right things. Seismic shifts in employee expectations demand seismic action from leaders to succeed today — and exist tomorrow.

“It starts, for us, with purpose,” says BP Head of U.S. Comms JP Fielder. “Your stakeholders, shareholders and most importantly, your employees need to understand what you’re trying to do.”

Meeting this challenge head-on, Fielder and CEO Blake Hall shared how they’ve refreshed their internal comms to strengthen their values and unify their teams.

  • Restate your north star: Two years ago, BP rewrote its vision, “reimagining energy, focusing on how we deliver it while being conscious of the planet.” JP says. “It helps people have a north star in the company as to what they’re working toward and whether that purpose is a fit for them.”

  • Deliver a direct line to leaders: “I created videos that walk through each year of the company’s development and how our values were developed,” Blake says. “They were almost like a fireside chat. Then you have to build rituals around engaging with it.”

  • Reinforce and celebrate: “Celebrate the successes, and get specific as to why it was successful and the types of behaviors that you expect within culture,” JP adds. That’s what will weave company values — and sticking to them — into the fabric of your organization.

The bottom line: To make your purpose come alive, communicate it clearly, make it a cornerstone in your internal comms, and celebrate the people who carry it forward. That creates a culture your team can — and will — believe in.

Go deeper: Hybrid teams need heroic leaders.

Fortune 100 companies and startups alike trust Axios HQ. See a free demo and learn how we help leaders communicate their purpose effectively.

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