Company With a Cause: Building a Movement Around What You do
Are you proud of the work that you do? This is not a hypothetical question; it is not meant to be pondered for hours or meditated upon. It is a simple question that deserves a simple “yes” or “no” answer, whatever popped into your head the second you read the question.
If you are a business owner, most likely you will answer with a quick and resounding “YES.” As business owners, we all have pride in what we do and what we have built. But, here is another question for you: are your employees proud of what they do? Do they just come in to fill a hole in your organization in exchange for a paycheck or do they believe that coming to work everyday makes them part of something special? As I showed in a recent infographic, over 52% of American workers admit to being disengaged in their jobs.
Now, don’t go blaming your employees. An epidemic this big has a deeper root cause than lazy employees. Before we get to that, let me ask you another question: do your customers believe that doing business with you and your company makes them part of something special?
Do you see what I am getting at? You believe that you are doing something special, but if your employees simply see your company as a job, and if your customers simply see you as a product, there is a disconnect between how you feel and what you are actually portraying to the public, including your staff.
Every Business Needs a Cause
People get excited when they feel like they are a part of a movement. Now, I am not talking about a political or social movement – I am talking about the movement that is your business. Share your passion with your customers and with your employees. Tell your story, let everyone know why you do what you do.
Some of the most successful companies are built around creating a movement that their customers can grab onto and feel a part of. For example, Whole Foods is built on the cause of providing, fresh, healthy food for a better lifestyle, and Apple’s success comes from building a cause around the idea that innovation and technology should change the world (or at least the way people interact with the world).
What’s your cause? Why should people get excited about what you do? This is an important question to be able to answer, and don’t think that just because you are small, even a one person gig, that you can’t have a cause. Build a loyal following by turning what you do into a movement that invites people to join in with you and tag along.
The Positive Effects of Building a Movement
By inviting people to join your cause, you become more than just a product. You become a lifestyle, a brand, and most importantly a leader in your community and in your industry. Customers become more loyal, and employees become more engaged. People want to be a part of what you are doing. Why? Because your cause has allowed you to transcend from simply selling something, to now building something. You are now an agent of change, working to move the world forward.