Innovation through Corporate purpose : Lessons from Human Resources Managers

Sofía Hermida Muñiz

In a constantly evolving business world, the human resources management plays a role core topic in the definition and execution of an organization's corporate purpose . Recently, I was fortunate to attend to a roundtable with leading HR managers, Virginia Garrido (Ikea), Monica Zai (Heineken) and Ricard Casas (ISS) and Tirso Perez Socías Country Manager of Deel as moderator of the table. These professionals shared their experiences, revealing the importance of a solid purpose and its impact on sustainability, leadership, talent management and employee retention.  

It was commonly agreed that the corporate purpose is the "why" that guides an organization, always taking into account the unique perspective that each individual brings. Monica Zai shared with us Heineken's purpose : "to create moments of enjoyment that bring us together to toast to a better world". This purpose is based on four core values: passion for quality, enjoyment of life, respect for people and the planet. 

On the other hand, Virginia Garrido, spoke about the dream of Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA: "to create a better everyday life for people, through an affordable home with good design, but not at the expense of quality". Virginia stressed the need to integrate sustainability into the production and operations of business to maintain an authentic purpose .

Regarding ISS, Ricard Casas, emphasized the social commitment and positive impact on communities as the core of its purpose. ISS strives to provide employment opportunities to vulnerable people. On the other hand, the purpose of ISS is to facilitate that its clients can better develop their purpose with people who decide for themselves

The effective integration of purpose into a business is crucial and can vary depending on the size of the company. In response to a question from the audience, a discussion was opened on how the size and structure of a business can affect the incorporation of a purpose Casas spoke about challenge how to keep the sense of purpose alive as an organization grows. He emphasized the deep-rooted and fervent purpose common to a startup and discussed how ISS is working to be a large business with a startup vocation.

Following a question posed, discussion was generated around the importance of shared values to promote the common purpose , Virginia Garrido explained that the recruitment process at Ikea focuses on finding people who share the values of the business, which facilitates talent retention and effective communication. Monica Zai agrees on the importance of communication, for example, in the case of Heineken they involved their employees in the development of purpose. Through programs such as "Heroes", the company recognizes those who embody its core values and contribute to purpose.

The HR managers expressed their major challenges for the coming year. Monica Zai highlighted the importance of maintaining commitment to purpose and the need for continuous evolution and innovation. Virginia Garrido pointed out the democratization of leadership and the management of mental health, while Ricard Casas highlighted the challenge of discovering and satisfying individual purpose in a diverse environment.

Innovation through corporate purpose is essential in today's business world. HR managers at roundtable provided valuable insights on how to define, communicate and maintain a strong purpose . Sustainability, talent retention and leadership are areas core topic where purpose can positively influence. By addressing these challenges, organizations can move toward a more sustainable and humane future, guided by a shared purpose .

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