The current recession is deeply related to a loss of confidence and trust and, in many cases, is negatively impacting corporate reputation. Purpose & Performance in a downturn makes business sense; it helps restore trust, provides focus for business strategy, is a reputation differentiator, and can motivate employees and give them a sense of direction.

To find out more about how companies communicate Purpose and Performance (P&P), Burson-Marsteller conducted a Europe-wide survey of 200 leading corporate executives and opinion-makers in 11 countries. Highlights from the survey were:

  • Purpose and Performance is relevant to all businesses
  • Business reputation is driven mainly by Performance – but Purpose is gaining ground
  • More than 90% see corporate Purpose under increasing scrutiny compared to five years ago
  • CEOs are key to the oversight of P&P
  • 98% say CEOs need to drive a broader sense of Purpose with employees
  • 69% believe that companies that focus on P&P are seen as role models, and even deflect criticism
  • Nearly 3 in 5 see a tension in focusing on both P&P

Purpose is key to both internal and external communications. Employees need to understand, engage and take ownership of this corporate purpose. External stakeholders need to be aware and convinced by it.

“Companies need to ensure that trust and confidence is maintained. External stakeholders will need fact-based evidence that the corporation is serious about its commitments as a corporate citizen, including corporate governance,” said Joanna Corsaro, Head of Burson-Marsteller Geneva and Vice-Chair of the EMEA Corporate Practice.

“This is a difficult exercise, and Burson-Marsteller’s Purpose & Performance Diagnostic Tool can help understand where the corporation stands in the eyes of different stakeholders and where it wants to go in the future.”

Find out more about Burson-Marsteller and their Diagnositc tool >