· 1 min read · News

Employees would rather work for a cause than for a company


Sean Mills, executive director of Ipsos LEAD, discusses research about leadership vision and values

Employees would rather work for a cause than for a company, according to Sean Mills, executive director of Ipsos LEAD.

The Leadership Connections 2017 report from Cirrus and Ipsos LEAD cited results from Ipsos MORI’s Representative Employee Data (RED), which demonstrated that 60% of employees believe they receive a clear vision from their leaders about the future direction of the organisation. Roughly the same amount stated that they endorse that vision.

Mills, a co-author of the report, suggested that people would rather work for a cause than for a particular company. “This is an area where senior HR leaders can collaborate with other senior colleagues to create a deeper ability to change at the enterprise level,” he said.

Jacqueline Moyse, head of organisational development at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, suggested that firms need to go back to basics when defining what the cause of their company is.

“When it comes to genuine transformation you’ve got to go back to the drawing board and the essence of what you stand for,” she said. “You need to revisit what’s at the core of the organisation – reviewing and, where necessary, rewriting your mission, vision and guiding principles. That gives you a strong basis to start the communication process and engage the colleagues with your future direction and priorities – ensuring that, as a company, you remain up to date and relevant both internally and externally.”

Simon Hayward, Cirrus' CEO, explained the role of HR in leading this change. “When addressing many of the issues highlighted in this report, such as increasing agility and collaboration, HR leaders can help organisations to adopt a more ‘connected’ approach to leadership,” he said. “This marks a pronounced shift from the old style of hierarchical command and control to a new way of leading through influence and encouraging collaboration, based on a shared sense of purpose and direction. This helps to build more agile and adaptable organisations, capable of successful transformation."

He added: “Many transformation initiatives are still more focused on process and systems than on empowering employees and engaging them with change. By devolving decision-making and empowering frontline employees HR leaders can increase customer-centricity and competitiveness, and drive performance.”