Why “Company Purpose” Matters More to Professionals Now
Here's how Rahul Hora, AXA’s President and CEO, puts employees, customers, and the society at the heart of the company.
Our work dictates so much of how we live our lives that we attach part of our identity to it. So, with the tumult of COVID-19, many employees began to reassess whether or not their work adds value to their lives.
To understand the current mindset about work, we asked several professionals what they expect from their employers and if they need their employers to have “purpose.” Here are some of their answers:
“It is important for me to know what direction our efforts are going since the long-term goals will be hinged on that purpose. It also keeps employers accountable because if they deviate from the purpose, then you can confront them,” says Mich, a PR account executive.
“I need an employer to have a purpose that I agree with so that I can stay motivated even amid days when work gets tough. Purpose makes even the bad days tolerable because you know that its necessary to accomplish a larger goal that makes everything worth it,” shares Kit, a mom and news journalist.
“I try not to be a work-is-life kind of person, so working for a company that serves a bigger purpose helps me keep that balance. It makes me feel good when I’m giving back,” shares James, a marketing associate at an e-commerce platform.
There are a couple of takeaways from these answers: first, that we want jobs that can bring a sense of purpose to our lives; and second, that employees expect their employers to help them meet this need at work.
Employees seek meaningful work, and employers should seek to provide it.
There are many ways for employers to help employees find meaning at work, whether it is personally, professionally, or socially. This is why at AXA Philippines, one of the country's leading insurance companies, its purpose to “act for human progress by protecting what matters” puts its employees, customers, and the society at its heart.
For AXA, prioritizing the employee experience is vital for it to bring out its purpose every day. The heart of this philosophy lies in AXA Philippines President and CEO Rahul Hora’s simple yet grounded explanation:
“The biggest thing we can give our employees is job satisfaction. Work is such an intense and considerable part of your life. If you’re not enjoying it, then you can imagine the stress levels you’ll have,” he shares.
For Rahul, work should never be something endured but something to look forward to every day. “I want AXA to be a happy place where people enjoy working because everything is an outcome of that. If that’s the environment that we give, you’ll enjoy your work, you’ll put more effort, you’ll be more efficient, and you can focus on your ambitions; what you want to do from a professional standpoint.”
Of course, saying is different from doing. That’s why in 2020, AXA embarked on a global program to listen to their employees and find out what exactly they currently want from their employer. The feedback and research gathered gave birth to the “Employer Promise,” which is an articulation of how AXA will continue to support its employees.
From the program, four clear themes emerged: employees want a place where they can grow their potential, where they can shape the way they work, where they can thrive within a diverse community, and where they can move the world forward. These themes are now the pillars on which stands AXA’s Employer Promise to help you “Realize your potential to drive progress.”
For Rahul, creating a strong Employer Promise is important to empower AXA’s employees to drive progress and find meaning at work.
“The Employer Promise helps us cultivate work that is centered around our purpose and values. It is also a good starting point because it’s important that our employees appreciate what this company stands for from a purpose standpoint and from a values standpoint. The commitment or passion will not be there if there is a misalignment,” Rahul shares.
“You need people on board who are aligned to your purpose and values, only then will you see individuals contributing a hundred percent to make a difference. This is also how we provide job satisfaction.”
On their end and as promised, Rahul shares that AXA gives freedom to their employees to drive forward new ideas and make decisions. AXA also makes opportunities and resources available for the employees to execute their ideas. In fact, AXA’s efforts to improve the employee experience have even earned them the “Great Place To Work” certification—the most definitive “employer-of-choice” recognition, which is acknowledged worldwide and is a global benchmark for identifying outstanding employers.
AXA’s story shows that when done right, work can be a source of joy and value to our lives. By leading through cultivating purposeful work environments, employers empower their employees to explore, innovate, and grow.