Case Study

Measuring Purpose

How one company discovered the source of a 20% increase in people performance

How one company discovered the source of a 20% increase in people performance

Caxton FX are pioneers in foreign exchange and have grown rapidly into a €1 billion turnover business. They have achieved this extraordinary growth by being at the forefront of innovation and offering amazing customer service. And the source of that innovation and service is an exceptional culture.

Caxton know they have built a happy and vibrant culture and invested a lot of energy in engagement. They also know that some individuals are less motivated and productive than others and some parts of the organisational culture worked better than others. But they didn’t know why; they hadn’t been able to pinpoint the source of excellence in their people performance.

So when they heard about the work that Contexis was doing with Cambridge and Plymouth Universities on measuring the impact of purpose on human and business performance they were keen to get involved. They wanted to understand more about their culture and to identify the source of performance,so that they could target interventions to bring the average employee to the same level of excellence as the top performers.

What they learnt from the analysis was remarkable. Yes, it reflected what they knew: the scores for engagement and joy were practically off the charts. And it also told them something transformational that they didn’t know; one particular characteristic in their people fundamentally drove performance almost to the exclusion of any other and was the key source of productivity. That characteristic was engagement with purpose. Those with a high purpose score were 30% more engaged, 28% more likely to experience the company as trustworthy and 32% more likely to be clear as to the company’s strategy. Their performance was 17% higher than peers and they were a remarkable 34% less likely to leave the company. The key outtake of taking the Index was that a focus on purpose rather than engagement was likely to have a far more significant positive impact on Caxton’s people performance.

The Index gave Caxton a clear performance target and a metric to measure it against. They also had a simple way to track progress by using the Index App to take dip-stick measurements and track performance over time on an interactive dashboard for every demographic in the business.

As Rupert Lee-Browne CEO says “without Purpose, a company can only flipflop around without truly consolidated, effective effort. What Contexis has developed with its Index is a very clever way to measure the impact of Purpose on Performance, enabling companies to really motivate their teams. Contexis Index did it for Caxton!”.