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Purpose and Profits


In his bestselling book on motivation, Drive, Dan Pink talks of a new trend in corporate structure that has increased employee motivation, the For Benefit Corporation. These “B” Corporations combine the economic goals of a traditional for profit entity with a purpose that benefits their community. Toms Shoes is a great example. They sell shoes so that they can give away shoes to  a child in a developing country. These organizations have their purpose spelled out in their by-laws and have proven exceptional in attracting Gen X and Y employees. Given that a baby boomer hits retirement age every 8 seconds, knowing what attracts their replacements may be worth looking into.

Locally, I have found two local businesses that demonstrate this for benefit approach. Blondies, a new deli on the south side of Pelican Place Shopping Center, and Mission 25 Hair Salon in the middle of the shopping center, both approach their ventures with more than the bottom line in mind. As you place your order at the counter at Blondies, the tip jar is right there. On the front of Cindy Hasemeier’s jar reads the name of the designated charity the tips will be donated to that month. Interestingly, her employees are Gen Y’ers and they love working there.   At Mission 25, all tips go to support not only a cause, but a family battling the cause. This month, Kristie Barba and her crew are supporting the Krause family and their eight year son in his cancer battle.  Another business filled with happy Gen X and Y employees and both outfits put out great products and memorable service.

Dan Pink points out that the new generation finds motivation in autonomy, mastery, and purpose. The book is a great read and is working locally. So if you want to raise your employee productivity and profits, try raising your purpose.

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