How Mission Becomes Meaning: The Benefits of Working for a Mission-Driven Company
Author: Amber Kluesener, Director, Human Resources at Afaxys
If you want to understand what makes an organization’s heart beat, a first place to look is its mission statement. Because it doesn’t simply tell you what they do, it tells you who they are at their core.
At Afaxys, our mission is to ensure reliable and affordable contraceptive care is available to everyone. This mission was the reason why we were founded 13 years ago—to solve a public health crisis of affordable access. Today, it gives clarity to our business decisions and shape to our culture. In short, our mission drives us.
But what does it mean to an individual employee to work for a mission-driven company? And how does it make their jobs more fulfilling? Just like it does for an entire company, a mission can help give purpose to every employee.
That was certainly my story. Before I had moved to Charleston to work for Afaxys, I hadn’t been inspired by the opportunities I was considering. I certainly knew I didn’t want a position like some of the ones in my past, where it felt like our teams were running on a hamster wheel, chasing one thing after the other without ever really moving forward or truly giving back.
In my next role, I wanted to come into an organization where I liked the environment and the people, of course. But I also needed to do something for the community and for society—not simply chasing profits. I found that home at Afaxys.
Now, as the leader of Human Resources at Afaxys, I try to find people who have an equal passion for our purpose. And when I do, I love sharing with them the benefits of joining a mission-driven organization:
Your colleagues are united. Stroll through our headquarters in historic Charleston, SC, and you’ll find co-workers with many diverse viewpoints, talents and backgrounds. But what brings us altogether is our commitment to the Afaxys mission. We’re all here because we believe access to sexual and reproductive healthcare should be a right, not a privilege.
And when you work with like-minded people, it’s easier to keep team morale high and the company culture strong. Just as important, it’s been shown that when people are aligned to a mission, they’re more likely to stick around, even when times get difficult like they did during the pandemic. That’s why so many people who work for Afaxys have been here for a long time.
They’re also more satisfied. If you’re going to spend most of your day at work, it helps to enjoy being there. And those with a strong sense of purpose report they are. In a Deloitte survey of more than 1,300 working adults, employees at companies with a strong sense of purpose were more than four times as likely (79% versus 19%) to say their colleagues were highly satisfied with their jobs.
And when people are highly motivated, they work harder and better. Research by Bain and Company found that employees energized by a company’s mission are 125% more productive than those who are merely satisfied with their work. Which means, your company is a step ahead in actually achieving the mission everyone is working towards.
Our customers understand why we’re in business. When our health center customers hear about our mission, they know they’ve found a partner. That’s because our mission to help provide affordable, accessible sexual and reproductive health care aligns with their own missions. Unlike many other healthcare companies, we’re clearly focused on their needs, not our own.
In addition, being mission-driven means we’re dedicated to providing the best service to our customers. We even make thoughtful sacrifices, like keeping prices stable, to make sure we’re fulfilling our mission, not just our profit goals. Our customers know they can trust us to do what’s right, which makes our own work easier and more satisfying.
There are many personal and professional reasons to work for a mission-driven company. The important thing is to find an organization that doesn’t just have a mission, but one you wholeheartedly believe in. Because what makes work meaningful and invigorating isn’t simply what you do, but why you do it and who you do it with.