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KPIs with Purpose: Measuring Impact Beyond the Bottom Line

May 18, 2023

Narrow your focus and hone in on the exact metrics that support your brand’s purpose.

Key Takeaways:

  • Key Purpose Indicators are specific, measurable metrics relevant to your brand’s purpose.
  • The exact KPIs you measure are highly dependent on your unique purpose and motivations. 
  • Track and follow your KPIs with tools such as data analysis software, surveys, and focus groups.

If you feel that traditional Key Performance Indicators alone are no longer sufficient to measure your organization’s success, it’s time to shift the focus to Key Purpose Indicators (KPIs). This specialized twist on traditional KPIs is designed to measure whether you’re living out your organization’s purpose. 

But wait, what are these KPIs? 

The easiest way to define the difference between a Key Performance Indicator and a Key Purpose Indicator is this: we have brand KPIs, and we have operational KPIs. You can’t ignore brand KPIs just because operational KPIs get more buzz. 

Think about what you contribute to others and what brings emotional connection. Once you’ve got that figured out (it’s easier than it sounds, yet some companies never figure it out), you’re able to develop KPIs that are specific, measurable, and relevant to your organization’s purpose.

From there, you begin to constantly measure your progress toward each Key Purpose Indicator. This lets you know whether you’re actually on track to reach your purpose-related goals. 

Need an example? Let’s say your organization’s purpose is to reduce its impact on the environment. Your KPI might measure the amount of greenhouse gas emissions you produce or the percentage of your waste that is recycled.

If that KPI falls short of your goal, it’s time to revise your processes and make changes so that you will reach your purposeful aspirations. 

When you measure progress against your KPIs, you’re able to track your impact, make informed decisions about how to improve and communicate your impact to stakeholders, such as investors, customers, and employees.

To ensure you and your entire team consistently work toward your intended impact and live your 3 Keys, now’s the time to measure against your Key Purpose Indicators.

Define your purpose

Your organization’s purpose is the backbone of your KPIs. Without a clear purpose, your KPIs won’t align with what really matters for your organization.

What’s the reason behind your organization’s existence beyond simply profit? What problem are you trying to solve, and for whom? What impact do you want to make in the world?

Here’s a little secret: Your purpose doesn’t have to be super complicated. In fact, the best purposes are usually simple and concise. You want your purpose to be something your stakeholders easily understand and rally behind.

To get started, gather your team and brainstorm. Think about what drives you and what you’re passionate about. There are three steps to discovering your true purpose:

  • Step 1 – Enter the Why Mindset: we are talking about what inspires you deep down as an individual, at the core of your soul – not what you want as a businessperson, leader, or entrepreneur. Grab a pen and paper and write down at least 28 things that deeply inspire and motivate you to jump out of bed every single morning.
  • Step 2 – Recognize Repeats: Now grab another piece of paper and begin writing down the highlights/stories you can remember from your personal and professional life (the failures, successes, heartbreaks, and achievements)…this list should be long. Once everything has been written down, study what you have and review what the common themes, patterns, or threads are.
  • Step 3 – Put Purpose to Power: Fill in this framework “If I could ______, it would be great because I could impact ______.” Your why should have two parts – a contribution and an impact. Your contribution is the unique way that you do what you do. Your impact is the result of the contribution you are dedicated to accomplishing.

Once your purpose is defined, you will start developing KPIs that align with it. But remember, your purpose must be more than just words on paper. Your purpose is what your organization lives and breathes each day.

Define, Identify, and Measure Key Purpose Indicators

Now that we’ve got your purpose all sorted out, it’s time to talk about Key Purpose Indicators (KPIs). KPIs are a critical element used to measure progress toward achieving your organization’s purpose. They provide a way to track how well you’re doing and identify areas where you need improvement. They also give you clarity into whether your company authentically lives its purpose and infuses that purpose into every step of operations. 

Straight from the 3 Keys book, here’s a simple equation to use to measure purpose: 

Measuring Purpose = Increasing Sales + Decreasing Churn + Efficient Overhead

Ask yourself this: What about this company indicates we live our purpose as a brand? The answer to that question helps you tease out your KPIs.

To build a strong brand, it’s essential to measure key performance indicators (KPIs) that focus on the brand’s values and purpose, just as you would for financials, sales goals, or product development. 

For example, within the sales team, it’s important to track the number of prospects called, conversations had, and meetings scheduled, as well as how many of those meetings resulted in proposals and then converted into real jobs. This way, the sales team can measure progress at every step and identify areas for improvement or acceleration.

While it may seem more abstract to measure purpose than sales processes, it’s just as crucial to the success of a business. When you measure purpose, it allows you to understand the strength and growth of their purpose, which in turn affects the culture, communication, collaboration, and ultimately the profit of the company. 

It’s important to view purpose as a strategic asset that has holistic implications for the business and to break it down into areas, divisions, and components where it can be best measured. This includes both internal and external aspects of the business, from customer relations to employee wellness. 

The potential markers are endless, but it’s crucial to identify the 8 to 10 markers that matter the most for the future viability of your brand foundation. When they measure purpose alongside traditional KPIs, businesses can ensure they’re on the right track to a strong, purposeful brand.

You must hold yourself and your team accountable for progress toward your KPIs and be able to recognize when you fall short of your expectations. If you don’t meet your KPI goals, that means something about your process isn’t working, which provides you with the opportunity to change it. That’s why it’s so critical to constantly revisit your progress. 

Now that you’ve got your purpose defined and your KPIs established, it’s time to talk about what comes next. After all, what good are KPIs if you don’t track your progress against them? And, of course, this applies to both sets of KPIs – both purpose and performance. 

We’ll guide you to your purpose

When you align KPIs with your organization’s purpose, you’re positioned to measure what matters most to your organization and stakeholders.

But it’s not enough to just develop KPIs and then forget about them. Continuous monitoring and refinement are essential to ensure that KPIs remain relevant and effective in measuring progress toward achieving your purpose.

That’s where Advantages comes in. We use these tools ourselves, so we’re uniquely positioned to assist your team to develop and measure your own KPIs. Our team will guide you to define your purpose and develop KPIs that align with your unique circumstances and goals. So don’t just measure your performance; measure your purpose with KPIs!

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