What Makes a Great Corporate Purpose Statement

What Makes a Great Corporate Purpose Statement


Organizations in all sectors are increasingly required by their investors, customers, employees, and wider stakeholders to articulate a clear statement of corporate purpose. Purpose isn’t about profit maximization; it’s the reason the organization exists. A purpose statement should clearly explain how the organization will contribute to human, societal, or environmental goals. It needs to be […]

The Great Renegotiation and new talent pools

The Great Renegotiation and new talent pools


It’s the quitting trend that just won’t quit. People are switching jobs and industries, moving from traditional to nontraditional roles, retiring early, or starting their own businesses. They are taking a time-out to tend to their personal lives or embarking on sabbaticals. The Great Attrition has become the Great Renegotiation. Competition for talent remains fierce. For […]

What Leaders Need to Know Before Trying a 4-Day Work Week

What Leaders Need to Know Before Trying a 4-Day Work Week


Despite the gains workers have made through the Covid pandemic in increasing flexibility in where they work, bigger workloads have meant that there is little slack in the system for people to take time out and recover. The effects are obvious. In 2020, 62% of people reported that they had experienced burnout “often” or “extremely […]

What Is the Purpose of Your Purpose?

What Is the Purpose of Your Purpose?


Despite its sudden elevation in corporate life, “purpose” remains a confusing concept. Finding the right one involves identifying an authentic and motivating basis for alignment among key stakeholder groups. Why It Exists Purpose is used in three distinct senses: competence, as in “the function that our product serves”; culture, as in “the intent with which […]

Make Your Employer Brand Stand Out in the Talent Marketplace

Make Your Employer Brand Stand Out in the Talent Marketplace


Employer branding is gradually becoming more important in C-suite conversations, but it’s still a relatively new concept. Several years ago business leaders might have pointed to pinball machines in the office game room or catered lunches as examples of employer branding. In 2022 most are aware that such perks hardly constitute a comprehensive employee retention […]

6 Strategies to Boost Retention Through the Great Resignation

6 Strategies to Boost Retention Through the Great Resignation


There is a widening mismatch between the job environment employees want — and now expect — and the one their organizations have. That’s the finding of conversations we’ve had with top executives of dozens of companies over the last several months, multiple global surveys we’ve conducted to learn what employees want, and our examination of […]

This time it’s personal: Shaping the ‘new possible’ through employee experience

This time it’s personal: Shaping the ‘new possible’ through employee experience


How do leaders satisfy all parties in trying to remake the mission? In our view, they have a unique opportunity to listen to their employees and engage them on what matters—now and into the future. Since the pandemic began, McKinsey has surveyed almost 1,000 individuals to assess their views on work and how it has […]

Research: Why Rejected Internal Candidates End Up Quitting

Research: Why Rejected Internal Candidates End Up Quitting


There is perhaps no better experience for a hiring manager than seeing the resume of an outstanding internal candidate land on their desk. You can fill the job immediately and, because current employees know the organization and its quirks, they require less handholding in order to get up to speed quickly. You also rarely have […]

Research: What Inclusive Companies Have in Common


The killing of George Floyd catalyzed a reckoning around racial injustice that led many corporate leaders to seek to evolve their organizations to meet today’s tremendous societal challenges. Many U.S. organizations have publicly pledged to increase diversity by filling more executive positions with individuals from underrepresented groups. Some boards of directors, like Nike, Starbucks, and […]

What Does It Take to Build a Culture of Belonging?


As we continue to adjust to Covid-19’s disruptions and see Black Americans killed by police, hate crimes against Asian Americans surge, and people in Georgia fight for equal voting rights, the question of what “belonging” means in American society is reaching into the workplace as it never has before. CEOs, corporate boards, investors, consumers, and […]

‘Back to human’: Why HR leaders want to focus on people again


For years now, human-resource leaders have found themselves on a cost-efficiency treadmill that applies analytics and big data to existing HR operating models. Their departments have lived by a worthy but uninspiring mandate: to optimize labor costs, reinforce compliance using standardized measures, and support the adoption of technology beyond IT. Even in the areas of […]

How Workplace Culture Enables Investment Firms to Do Better


In today’s highly competitive business environment, workplace culture is becoming increasingly recognized as a source of competitive advantage. What does this mean for the investment industry, and how can asset managers use it to improve performance? The Top Cultural Edges to Develop Workplace culture was gaining traction for several years prior to COVID-19, but after […]

The Surprising Power of Nostalgia at Work


Many people assume that nostalgia is purely entertainment, a feeling individuals enjoy because it takes them back to the more carefree days of their youth. Some view it as maladaptive fixation on the past, perhaps indicating a fear of change. I’ve heard business analysts and leaders argue that, although nostalgia may help some companies sell […]

WFH Doesn’t Have to Dilute Your Corporate Culture


The pandemic pushed many organizations to become fully remote, and the experience has been better than many imagined. As a result, a hybrid working model that embraces the best of both remote and office-based work awaits many workers and companies on the other side of the crisis. Adapting to this new working model might seem […]

Your Star Employee Just Quit. Will Others Follow?


Movement of talented employees across firms is inevitable, but if you’re in a leadership role, there are things you can do when a star employee leaves to prevent their departure from becoming a stampede to the exits. Ask Questions, Then Listen Perhaps the most important thing you can do when someone leaves is to listen […]

How to Actually Encourage Employee Accountability


Fewer words in corporate vernacular induce a tighter wince than “accountability,” and for good reason. Companies and leaders have grappled with what it is and how to achieve it effectively for decades. Ask anyone if they look forward to their performance evaluation or periodic check-in with their boss, and most will give an emphatic “no.” […]

More than a mission statement: How the 5Ps embed purpose to deliver value


We’ve all seen it: companies that have the “it” factor, an enthusiasm and passion that lights up employees, delights customers, and shines for investors. It’s not just the company’s warmer fleece, or a more delicious ice cream, or even a breakthrough technology. And it’s so much more than just a mission statement. It’s purpose. Purpose […]

Why Hiring During Covid Is Different Than in Previous Downturns


PM Images/Getty Images In the past, the intensity of competition for talent followed the ups and downs of the economic cycle. It’s therefore unsurprising—given the Covid-19 downturn—to hear that a number of thought leaders are concluding that we are back to an employer’s market. But a closer look at the data, as well as our […]

Why Visionary Leadership Fails


Gary Waters/Getty Images Visionary leadership is widely seen as key to strategic change. That’s because visionary leadership does not just set the strategic direction — it tells a story about why the change is worth pursuing and inspires people to embrace the change. Not surprisingly, then, science and practice have a very positive view of […]

Stepping into a Leadership Role? Be Ready to Tell Your Story.


Stepping into a role as a leader — whether as a seasoned executive or a neophyte supervisor — is both challenging and exciting. How you handle this transition can have a huge impact on your career. You need to hit the ground running not only with your bosses and key stakeholders but also with your […]

Time’s Up for Toxic Workplaces


Daniel Day/Getty Images Millions of people face abusive supervisors and bullies at work. These employees are targets of ridicule, threats, or demeaning comments by their manager on a daily basis, which results in decreased satisfaction, productivity, and commitment to the job as well as the organization at large. While direct interactions with “bad bosses” can […]

How CHROs Have Met the Moment


Richard Kolker/Getty Images In the past, at big company moments, it was often the CEO and CFO breaking the news to employees, shareholders, and other stakeholders. A distinctive feature of the coronavirus pandemic has been to elevate the role of the CHRO, who is often visibly helping CEOs manage the present and lead their companies […]

Onboarding a New Leader — Remotely


Michael Blann/Getty Images Imagine that you have a new supply-chain leader starting next week. You hired her to do supply-chain transformation before the crisis took hold. But now she is joining remotely and inheriting a remote team, and her short-term, urgent priorities are very different from what they appeared to be before the pandemic. As […]

How to Talk to Your Team When the Future Is Uncertain


As the coronavirus pandemic escalates and disruptions to business-as-usual continue, managers are grappling with the unknown. You don’t know when your employees will be able to return to the office or how different things will be when they do. Regardless, you need to be in constant communication with your team. What information — and how […]

How the Coronavirus Crisis Is Redefining Jobs


Martin Barraud/Getty Images The outbreak of Covid-19 has forced organizations into perhaps the most significant social experiment of the future of work in action, with work from home and social distancing policies radically changing the way we work and interact. But the impact on work is far more profound than just changing where people work; […]

Leading marketing and sales with purpose


“Without empathy, nothing works.” 1 1. Sean Gregory, “ ‘Without empathy, nothing works.’ Chef José Andrés wants to feed the world through the pandemic,” TIME, March 26, 2020, time.com. That quote, from José Andrés, a celebrity chef who also founded and runs the nonprofit World Central Kitchen, highlights the reasoning behind the organization’s mission: to […]

Give Your Workers the Latitude to Learn on the Job


We are in the early stages of a global economic shift as companies face intensifying competition, an accelerating pace of change, and exponentially expanding opportunity all at the same time. Despite growing productivity, the average return on assets (ROA) for U.S. companies has fallen to almost one quarter of what it was in 1965, according […]

Positive leadership during the COVID-19 crisis


For business leaders, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated unprecedented change. More than ever, the health of businesses is urgently and visibly linked with the health of workforces, the health of our society, and the health of our planet. Previously unimaginable shifts in our daily lives are compelling companies to adapt quickly and identify creative, unconventional […]

Research: How Speech Patterns Lead to Hiring Bias


Gustavo Rezende Dos Santos/EyeEm/Getty Images Research indicates that organizations are not meritocratic. Senior executives of large firms weight ambiguous factors like “culture fit” as equally important as critical job skills when making promotion decisions. Criteria beyond the scope of knowledge, abilities, and performance are used in hiring decisions across firms, industries, and management teams. And, […]

Hire me because I’m the best, not because I’m a woman


And guess what? I wasn’t hired for either of those jobs because of my gender. Many women – and I consider myself one of them – see themselves as much more than a female leader. I feel this label can detract and deflect attention from my professional and personal achievements. I, for one, am thrilled […]

Hire Leaders for What They Can Do, Not What They Have Done


cranach/Getty Images Fifty years have passed since the publication of The Peter Principle, but its rule still applies today. “In time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties,” noted Laurence J. Peter, the educator behind this famous work. His theory postulates that most competent people […]

How to Avoid Groupthink When Hiring


Henrik Sorensen/Getty Images When it comes to hiring, democratic decisions lead to better outcomes. There is wisdom in crowds when it comes to spotting talent. When Google tracked the performance of recent hires against their interview ratings, the company found that averaging the ratings of a group of interviewers was by far a more accurate […]

How Multinationals Can Help Advance LGBT Inclusion Around the World


Kelly Bowden/Getty Images As the rainbow flags came down in New York City after the WorldPride and Stonewall 50 celebrations, and as flags go up for pride events in other parts of the world, it’s worth asking: where do we stand on global LGBT rights? This year has offered a mixed bag. More jurisdictions, including […]

A Lack of Sponsorship Is Keeping Women from Advancing into Leadership


ferrantraite/Getty Images Too few women are reaching the top of their organizations, and a big reason is that they are not getting the high-stakes assignments that are prerequisite for a shot at the C-suite. Often, this is due to a lack of powerful sponsors demanding and ensuring that they get these stepping-stone jobs. Ensuring that […]

Confronting overconfidence in talent strategy, management, and development | McKinsey


Many leaders we encounter insist that their talent- and people-development strategies are sound—and that their organizations are good at implementing them. Is this confidence warranted, and are companies living up to their leaders’ assertions? Could these leaders be succumbing to the same optimism bias that motivates three out of four people to imagine that they […]

Why We Need to Rethink “Employer Brand”


Daniel Day/Getty Images Today, a strong employer brand is seen as a critical way to attract, engage, and retain the best people. At a time when top talent is highly mobile, those are certainly laudable goals. But is building a special, separate employer brand the way to achieve them? No. The problem with most employer branding is […]

Why You Should Create a “Shadow Board” of Younger Employees


Paolo Farinella/Getty Images A lot of companies struggle with two apparently unrelated problems: disengaged younger workers and a weak response to changing market conditions. A few companies have tackled both problems at the same time by creating a “shadow board” — a group of non-executive employees that works with senior executives on strategic initiatives. The […]

Is women’s progress stalling at your company? Here’s how to get it moving again


So organizations believe D&I is critical to achieving financial goals, and, on average 80% of leaders say they are committed to the D&I agenda overall. It therefore follows that leaders looking to implement a successful D&I agenda understand that it’s about people and business strategy. Unfortunately, commitment and passion for change is not enough to […]

How to Make Sure a New Hire Feels Included from Day One


Beth was promoted to senior vice president at a Fortune 500 company. In addition to her existing responsibilities, she was given two new groups to manage. Overnight, her team doubled in size. Beth needed to hire senior executives to help manage her burgeoning division. Within five months, she had her senior management team in place: […]

5 rules for making employers and employees trust each other again


The debate about the future of work has largely focused on jobs – what they will look like, the decline of well-paid jobs for lower skilled workers, and how jobs will be impacted by AI and automation. However, there is a bigger conversation that is worth having: it’s about the changing relationship between employer and […]

When leadership fit goes wrong; avoid these four common mistakes…


When it all goes wrong In today’s more competitive and complex landscape the pressure for results has narrowed the focus on how to create workplaces where talent can both thrive but also fit for the long term. With so much effort spent understanding how leadership, vision and values create success, it is a surprise that […]