Among C-suite leaders, 79 percent believe purpose supports a company's recruitment, engagement, and retention efforts. That's according to Deloitte's 2022 C-suite Insights report How Purpose Delivers Value in Every Function and for the Enterprise.
Deloitte states that "A company's purpose—its ‘why' in the eyes of its stakeholders—is the best framework to keep focused on long-term value and to navigate complex risks." Without someone to oversee that initiative, implementation challenges and a lack of accountability become likely.
While Deloitte notes that all C-suite members have a role to play in purpose-driven initiatives, a point person—a chief purpose officer or, in some organizations, a chief sustainability officer—is necessary for success.
Author Kate Birch explains in a Business Chief article that a chief purpose officer works across departments to embed purpose-driven strategies and behaviors. Those are demonstrated in the company's branding and culture for internal and external audiences.
"Purpose officers hold their companies accountable to their mission and the people who work for them," Birch says.
Growth in chief purpose officer titles is likely moving forward, because as the Deloitte report states, "companies of all types overwhelmingly recognize the strategic importance of demonstrating purpose and addressing critical societal issues to satisfy a broad set of stakeholder expectations."