Having a clearly stated purpose is important for more than a company’s external stakeholders, of course. A well-defined and well-communicated sense of purpose helps employees in their day-to-day work. It allows them to understand:
- Why we exist
- Where we fit
- What we contribute
Once these three elements of purpose are defined and understood internally, each employee can further define the value it brings to its specific market or audience. Defining a purpose, therefore, helps as a starting point, helping to provide focus and coherence.
Beyond the overarching deep impact statement, Wolters Kluwer has built a framework to underpin its purpose, comprised of a number of foundational pillars. The foundation consists of strengths, beliefs, and practices that add depth to our purpose, enabling us to deliver and set it apart.
Practice makes purpose
As outlined in the Wolters Kluwer 2017 Annual Report, the company’s Value Creation Model incorporates external and internal resources into a range of business activities, all with the focus on the deep impact we can create for our four key stakeholders: customers, employees, investors, and on society as a whole.
Through concrete, purpose-driven activities such as innovation-driven sustainability, talent management, and operational excellence, we are able to:
- Deliver impactful customer experiences – Wolters Kluwer’s POC Advisor is a clinical surveillance platform that uses advanced technologies to detect the life-threatening condition sepsis at an early stage. It has reduced sepsis mortality by 53% in 2017*. Our CCH® AnswerConnect propelled Wolters Kluwer to be named “Americas Tax Technology Firm of the Year” by the International Tax Review for 2017. It represented the third consecutive year of award-winning recognition by the Review – an endorsement of the impact the company’s products are having on a global scale.
- Help deliver top-line growth – On an annual basis, the company commits 8-10% of revenues to new product development. While there are a range of measurements to determine the impact of this level of investment, solid indicators are the organic revenue growth of 3.4% in 2017 and a 181% growth in share price over the past five years. The company’s ELM Solutions are a prime example of this commitment to innovation. They sponsored a recent General Counsel roundtable, where Sandeep Sacheti, Vice President of Customer Information Management and Operational Excellence for Wolters Kluwer’s Governance, Risk & Compliance division, spoke of the use of artificial intelligence to improve compliance, efficiency, and cost management.
- To attract and retain talent and drive employee engagement – Wolters Kluwer’s annual Code Games event provides a prime showcase for Wolters Kluwer not only as a hub of innovation, but as a great place to work. The sense of teamwork and purpose on display at the Code Games leads directly to the value we provide to customers and society. Innovative ideas are born and developed throughout the event, ideas which turn into expert solutions for professionals in health, tax and accounting, governance, risk and compliance, and legal and regulatory. Nita Sanger, Head of Innovation at Legal & Regulatory, spoke on a recent Legal Talk Network podcast about the importance of a continued focus on developing innovative ideas together: “We are at an inflection point. New technologies like natural language processing and machine learning are critical to help solve customer pain points.”
- Create brand ambassadors that share impactful examples with customers, friends and family - Having a strong sense of purpose helps to create brand ambassadors within an organization. A brand ambassador is an individual who identifies strongly with a company’s values and purpose, and in turn champions these to a broader audience – a key role in today’s noisy, distraction-heavy digital marketplace. According to a recent Huffington Post article, “brand ambassadors provide an excellent way to create real, personalized interactions between a brand and its target audience, resulting in a strengthening of overall brand equity.”
Diana Nole, CEO Wolters Kluwer Health, offered a quote widely shared on social channels by members of her division that exemplifies how strong purpose builds a winning team: “It is an honor to be included in the Top 25 of the Healthcare Informatics 100, and validates Wolters Kluwer Health’s focus on arming clinicians, researchers, students, and other healthcare professionals with the tools they need to address healthcare’s most pressing issues”.
With each of these elements working in concert to deliver value to the company’s stakeholders, Nancy McKinstry sums up the Wolters Kluwer purpose: “Our work helps to protect people’s health, prosperity, and safety and build better businesses. Every second of every day our customers face decisive moments that impact the lives of millions of people and shape society for the future. In these crucial moments we put sound knowledge, deep expertise, and usable insight into their hands at the right time in the right format for their specific set of circumstances.”
With this perspective coming from the top of the organization, Wolters Kluwer is clearly proud to share its values with all of its stakeholders, and to inspire others to develop a purpose beyond just profit. To learn more about how the company works - and working at the company - see our company values and visit our listing of global careers.
* Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 24(1), 2017, 88–95