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Pay less for staff seeking a purpose

More than a quarter of managers (27%) in British companies would be likely to accept a salary cut to work for a company that has a clear purpose beyond profit, according to new research. 

The YouGov survey, commissioned by Danone UK, also showed that around a third (32%) of the 2,001 managers quizzed would actually consider leaving their job if a greater purpose was unclear, while more than half (53%) would do so if their company’s values and purpose didn’t align with their own.

The statistics suggest that purpose-led company staff are “more positive, more engaged and have greater career confidence”, Danone concluded.

However, only 55% of the managers in the survey believed it was their role to embed a purpose beyond profit mind-set more widely across the organisation.

It isn’t the first survey to have suggested that employees, and in particular younger ones, are seeking companies that have a purpose beyond profit. In a survey of corporate leaders by Harvard Business Review Analytics and EY’s Beacon Institute, 89% said a strong sense of purpose drives employee satisfaction.

Another poll, conducted in the UK, Germany, US and Brazil by data platform CitizenMe and brand consultants Wolff Olins, found that 41% of people believe companies “ought to be a force for positive change”. However, just 13% think businesses have managed it, because of their “preoccupation with profits”.