There’s never been more uncertainty in the air this year. Many brands have already slid into the panic mode. They are frozen with inaction and taking ill-thought measures of self-preservation.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has pushed the global economy to the brink. Stock markets are feeling the heat and revenues have declined sharply. Customers, clients, and employees need a source of courage, reassurance, and inspiration to guide them in sailing through the storm. Therefore, brands need to put effort into building a powerful, purpose-driven culture.

A purpose-driven culture is not a 12-word purpose statement that can be hanged on an office wall or a 150-second video of a lively group of people live-streaming from a mountain.

According to a survey detailing views of more than 250 B2B professionals, despite the fact that 86% of B2Bs have defined a purpose beyond profit, only 24% of them actually implemented that purpose in their organizational culture. There was a clear contradiction between the “stated” and “activated” purpose. Now, with the emergence of COVID-19, companies really need to rethink their purpose.

Today, embracing purpose can be embraced as going back to the basics, to one’s roots. In March, Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, wrote:

“It is in times of great disruption and uncertainty that our ability to stay grounded in our sense of purpose and remain true to our identity is of the utmost importance.”

Why an organization does what it does carries more weight than the outcomes it generates. Purpose-driven culture drives results and develops people’s belief in the organization. A purpose-driven culture ensures that an organization can go beyond typical success. Such a culture is not only crucial in taking an organization to the path of prominence; it also encourages your employees to work harder. Follow these tips to build a purpose-driven culture during the coronavirus.

During any unprecedented crises, there is a need to meet evolving needs of stakeholders (patients, healthcare workers, shareholders) and also diffuse tension from conflicting tradeoffs. Brands that have more clarity in purpose are far more agile and easily adapt to changing dynamics despite ensuing tension.

  • Start at the top. Commitment from the leadership can work wonders.
  • Motivate and equip middle-level and frontline managers to be purpose-oriented.
  • Invest in your people and expand their skill-sets. Have them make the most of this bizarre period.
  • Put the health of your people first and empower them to work from home.
  • Help customers understand how your products/services can help them to reach a valuable goal during the COVID-19 phase.
  • Let your sales department engage with prospects and understand the value of your offerings in the middle of the pandemic.

One of the prime purposes of IMC hospital’s core mission is to deliver quality care, uninterrupted and we’ve demonstrated this by telemedicine by linking the purpose of providing uninterrupted care with hospitals’ strategy and culture.

Evaluating decision against purpose

Decisions often need to be explained to cynical – the trade-off and the rationale. Here at in our hospital, our purpose is empathy and compassion, and incorporating those into action meant we would avoid, as much as possible, reacting in a way that compromises those values – during the early stage of COVID 19 leading to lockdowns many hospitals decreased wages and compensation. At IMC, the leadership decided not to decrease any employee salaries and on the path of reaching our target outpatient clinic numbers post-lockdown.

Last but not least, acknowledge the role of our frontline heroes—physicians, nurses, and other staff belonging to the healthcare industry. These selfless individuals have bravely risen to the challenge. Their contribution is of paramount importance in allowing us to build a purpose-driven culture.

Muhammad Siddiqui, Chief Information Officer, IMC

Farhaa Abdelhaq, IMC