Passion comes from within. It cannot be demanded, it cannot be requested, it cannot be achieved through carrots. True high performing individuals and organizations come from within. The will and the skill need to be there, but the will always have to be the stronger part. In an organization of people who gather for the same reason, who work and collaborate to achieve something together, who are selfless to give for others to succeed and where the environment is safe embracing curiosity, transparency and initiative: Those are the great organizations; those are the organizations and the people that change the tomorrow. In essence, we do not want motivated people, we want passionate people. As the CEO at Greencarrier Freight Services, it is my mission to foster and continuously evolve this culture. In this blog article, I will describe my view of a purpose-driven company and why we care so much about it.
A common purpose to enable passion, engagement and innovation
My view is that any company needs a guiding north star that leads us towards a common purpose. This purpose is not the products or services that we are offering. It is the entire reason to why we exist and why anyone should care. The purpose or the why is the glue that connects us. It is what makes the company more than just an employer and it is what makes the job tasks more than just tasks. Furthermore, it is the foundation for customer excellence. The purpose is in the minds of all us being in the organization, it guides us in our daily decisions and choices. It is the foundation for a truly empowered organization. For us at Greencarrier Freight Services, what guides us is the notion of creating a better tomorrow. It is the red thread that goes across all that we do, with employees – with customers – with vendors – with society. That, in combination with a mission of delivering unrivaled customer service in anything that we do, is our North Star.
After 20 years as a leader, I have found that a company, organization or unit with a clear purpose enables the employees to feel committed, creative, passionate and willing to develop. These mindsets are reflected in the products and services that are offered to the customers and in how we build customer excellence in all that we do. In an all digitalized world, the notion of being personalized and innovative is becoming even more crucial to stay relevant.
Start focusing on why you are in business instead of what you are offering
A company that is purpose-driven does of course still need great products and services. One does not exclude the other. For us, at Greencarrier Freight Services, we take a lot of pride in trying to offer a better and more suited sustainable solution, in every situation. We do not do that to win business, we do that because that is what we believe in and that is what guides us. A side effect is that customers appreciate it and ask for more. We take it very seriously to be innovative and always take an outside and in view in all that we do. We want to challenge the market with new and eco-friendly logistics possibilities. The way we want to achieve this is represented in our core values. Without a strong tie there we would not succeed, culture beats, as we all know, strategy.
Commit and invest in finding people with shared values
To work in this way, it is essential to have employees that share the same views and fit the culture that we have. Besides formal competence and experience, their values and beliefs need to be in line with the company’s. Therefore, it is critical to be very through rough when finding new individuals to join. To hire for attitude and train for skill is a saying, but it goes a lot into it. For every person we hire we are doing at least 7-8 interviews. The first ones are to verify that skills match needs, the rest is to ensure a solid cultural match. This goes both ways. For the person joining, it is equally important to feel that “this is an environment that resonates with me, where I can really contribute and evolve”. This way, we can continue finding the people that are truly motivated by our mission, who thrives at work and want to develop together with the company and align with its purpose as well as shaping it.
We remind each other of our purpose and values every day
Yet, even if we acquire the best people for our mission, the culture of purpose will not remain by itself. It is not enough to have it printed on posters in the office. My experience is that it requires persistent daily work. At Greencarrier Freight Services, we try to remind each other every day about where we are heading and why. A transparent culture poised with curiosity and where coaching and feedback are natural attributes of the daily life in the company helps us achieve this. It is about taking small but many steps forward, continuously. Everybody in the company needs to make an effort to live the values, talk about them and make conscious choices according to them. By doing this, we will keep the culture of purpose alive, continue to shape it and continue to be a strong partner to our customers, ourselves and the society around us. Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.
What is your view or experience of how to build a purpose-driven company? Feel free to comment below! If you have any questions, contact me or visit our website to read more about our Core Values, Vision & Mission.