Engaged company Heineken

Heineken: The magic / company engagement

Since its establishment in Amsterdam in 1864, Heineken has grown into an international corporation, and Heineken pilsner is now a global brand. ‘The magic of Heineken’ is an exceptional corporate story. It is a sparkling all-encompassing story in the form of a book, experience, film and event. It is a success story of how you can bring corporate DNA to life. The Heineken Experience in Amsterdam has been a major success since it started in 2000, with more than 400,000 international visitors annually who come there to be immersed in the Heineken story.

Corporate story: capturing the Why, the purpose and the corporate DNA

We help develop and connect your company purpose to your employees’ passions. This process is facilitated by your corporate story and the Storytelling Backbone programme.

President Kennedy visited NASA in the early days. “What do you do?” the president asked a man with a broom during a visit to Cape Canaveral. “Well, Mr. President, I’m helping to put a man on the moon.”

It is something of a folk tale. But is it true? We can never know for certain, but it is a perfect illustration of the concept that motivating people through a strong sense of higher purpose is essential to employee engagement.

Your company’s purpose matters. Employees are more engaged, more innovative, and more confident in the possibility of growth (both in their personal growth and that of the company) when they understand the company’s purpose. For too long, companies have only focused on the “what” and the “how.” Recently, the focal point has been increasingly shifting toward the “why.” Organisations are beginning to cast their attention on purpose when defining their brand, strategy, and culture.

A purpose-driven company has an important objective that creates a meaningful impact for all stakeholders: customers, employees, communities and investors. Having a sense of purpose give a boost to employee engagement. A study reported that 73% of employees who say they work at a “purpose-driven” company are engaged, as compared to just 23% of those who do not.

Moreover, top research organisations confirm that millennials are attracted to companies that make a difference, that have an impact on the world around them and that define a clear purpose. They will constitute over 50% of the workforce within the next few years, which is why many organisations are spending significant resources in identifying the best ways to attract, develop, and retain them.

The challenge lies in to what extent you are able to communicate purpose in your organisation. Even if you think you are doing a good job, it is often still not enough to truly bring your company’s purpose to the forefront. The mission is related to the purpose if it answers the “essence of why you exist.” The challenge here is embedding the purpose throughout the entire organisation and relating it to what employees do on a daily basis. You have succeeded if every employee can ultimately answer with the company’s purpose when asked: “why do you do what you do?”

Heineken and the importance of purpose: Brew a better world

Zita Schellens, director of Corporate Affairs at Heineken, is responsible for their purpose-oriented strategy, aimed at

purpose leadership.

“I think that purpose is a higher “religion,” a compass and a higher aspiration for the decisions we take. Purpose is an internal religion or belief that inspires people. It is a compass to determine your path forwards. A good purpose is based on your core qualities. You look at what you are good at, what you love to do and what you can achieve financial profit from. In line with the Ikigai philosophy, the higher objective is to bring the company’s purpose to life using the resources at your disposal.

It is important to undergo a thorough self assessment before taking action. Ask yourself: what do you value, what are you proud of, what is your heritage and what resources do you possess. Where can you deploy your ‘super powers’ and what fits your corporate brand? And how can you do this sustainably and authentically instead of simply following the latest trends or hype. Consumers and employees are quite adept at making the distinction between hypocrisy and authenticity. An effective purpose campaign is based on a complicated balance of who you are and what you value, in combination with an ambitious objective made up of concrete and realistic targets. Instead of a short campaign, you should focus on making a difference – systematically and sustainably. If you succeed in this, you will have struck gold. I think that it is the future, and I believe it is promising.”

More information: Forbes: lessons heineken how run purpose driven business