Chronicle Journal: Finance

Cross-Sector Collaboration Launches Study on How to Build Purpose into the Work of People, Teams, and Organizations

CECP, Imperative, and PwC seek to shed light on how companies can embed purpose into culture to drive stronger business performance, talent engagement and effectiveness, and community impact



NEW YORK, May 24, 2017 /3BL Media/ – CECP: The CEO Force for Good has joined forces with Imperative and PwC US to launch a multi-year initiative examining how leading companies can harness the power of purpose in a corporate setting, and use it to positively impact employee performance, productivity, tenure, and fulfillment. From Engagement to Purpose: A CECP-Imperative-PwC Initiative is being kicked-off at the 2017 CECP Summit: Brave Leaders, Bold Moves May 23-24, 2017 in NYC, which will bring together 250 corporate leaders who drive societal investment strategies at the world’s largest companies.

This effort seeks to carefully examine best practices in the integration and infusion of purpose into and throughout aspects of a company, develop and advance broader understanding of purpose in a corporate setting, and ultimately ignite innovative ways for people to find meaning in their work. According to earlier research from the Imperative Workforce Index, purpose-oriented workers are the most valuable segment of the workforce with an average 20% longer tenure; 50% greater likelihood to be in a leadership position; 47% greater likelihood to be company advocates and 64% higher levels of fulfillment.

The project was developed in response to a gap in previous research, which had laid the business case foundation for purpose, with evidence linking purpose-driven business strategies with stronger financial performance, but had not yet explored in depth the steps to building purpose-driven leaders and a purpose-led global business culture. The team also seeks to answer how purpose-driven employees contributing in the community through volunteerism and donations create stronger, more effective community benefits and business value. The demand for this research and learnings is apparent, with 63% of CEOs reporting the greatest benefit of expanding societal investment is strengthening human capital (2016 Board of Boards).

From Engagement to Purpose, one of the first to explore the specific actions companies can take, is being spearheaded by three leaders in public and private sectors, each bringing a unique perspective to the critical role of purpose in human capital strategies. The CECP-Imperative-PwC team will look to answer questions such as: What are the stages and interventions of purpose at work? What efforts will truly empower people to work and lead with purpose? What is the role of the organization? How do you align individual, team, and organizational purpose?

Study elements will include building a select pilot community of corporate leaders defined as “early adopters” of integrating purpose across the business, convening CEOs and senior executives, and surveying workers themselves -- to gather insights that will inform more effective language, approaches, and metrics that bridge the conversation from the employee frontlines to the C-level scorecard. With initial inspiration from pilot partner VMware, Inc., the community of corporate leaders includes Campbell Soup Company, The Dow Chemical Company, Medtronic Foundation, PwC, and others.

“Leading companies have recognized that purpose is the path to energizing and reaching vital stakeholders, for stronger markets and a stronger world” said Daryl Brewster, CEO, CECP. “This initiative is an opportunity to create new frameworks for driving business forward with motivated talent inspired at work and in the world.”

“As the Founder and CEO of Taproot Foundation I had the honor to work with PwC and CECP to build the $15 billion year pro bono service market,” said Aaron Hurst, CEO, Imperative and Author, The Purpose Economy. “Together we can replace the idea of employee engagement with a new way of measuring talent that is people and performance centric.”

“From our Putting Purpose to Work study, we learned that 79% of business leaders say purpose is central to an organization’s existence, and 63% of employees ranked 'finding meaning in my day to day work' as the most important aspect of their job,” said Shannon Schuyler, Chief Purpose Officer, Corporate Responsibility Leader, PwC. "There is clear value to be gained, but we know from our own journey that the pathway there is not always clear. That's why we're excited to be a part of this research -- to help advance purpose activation for business and employees alike."

CECP and Imperative are grateful to PwC US for their support in making From Engagement to Purpose possible.

Note to Editors: Barb Short, Managing Director, CECP and Aaron Hurst, CEO, Imperative are available for comment on the initiative.

CECP: The CEO Force for Good:

CECP is a CEO-led coalition that believes that a company’s social strategy—how it engages with key stakeholders including employees, communities, customers, and investors—determines company success. Founded in 1999 by actor and philanthropist Paul Newman to create a better world through business, CECP has grown to a movement of more than 200 of the world’s largest companies that represent $7 trillion in revenues, $18.6 billion in societal investment, 13 million employees, and $15 trillion in assets under management. CECP helps companies transform their social strategy by providing customized connections and networking, counsel and support, benchmarking and trends, and awareness building and recognition.

About Imperative:

Imperative is a breakthrough assessment and learning system that provides the first place for people to uncover and apply what intrinsically motivates them and gives them purpose in their work. Imperative partners with forward-thinking organizations to equip them with the tools, system and support network to drive purpose for their people. Through our services, we are committed to reducing staff turnover, attracting and hiring better talent, increasing staff impact both inside and outside the company, and overall creating a culture of purpose at all levels. Our platform and expertise will help you strategically design and implement powerful employee engagement programs as well as compelling corporate social responsibility efforts.

About PwC:

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 223,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at

PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see for further details.

Tweet me: .@CECPTweets, @Imperative, and @PwC_LLP announce new study exploring how to embed #Purpose into the workplace

KEYWORDS: Research, Reports & Publications, Diversity & Inclusion, Purpose, workplace, CECP, Imperative, PwC

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