LONDON — Porter Novelli has formed a strategic partnership with research firm Contexis to explore how clear organisational purpose can help tackle the challenge of employee engagement in the new era of remote working.

The partnership will mean that the Contexis Index, a measurement tool developed by Contexis with researchers at Cambridge University, will be integrated into Porter Novelli’s suite of global purpose and employee engagement measurement tools. The index has been developed by the B Corp as a single measure of how purpose impacts attitudes and behaviours in an organisation, based on a study of purpose-led organisations across 26 countries.

Porter Novelli director Eleanor Turner, the agency’s employee engagement lead in London, said: “We know the employee base is the engine room for purpose. Working together with Contexis, we are able to better diagnose how purpose is being lived within an organisation and unlock its power among employees.

“This partnership will also help our clients drive engagement in a workplace landscape where remote working is here to stay for many, leading to improved performance and fuelling transformation.”

Porter Novelli's first piece of research with Contexis shows that people working remotely for companies with a clear sense of organisational purpose can be three times more committed.

Contexis CEO John Rosling said: “Our numbers suggest that the impact of purpose on feelings of commitment and responsibility among remote workers can be nearly three times stronger than among office-based peers. This is in the context of the generally debilitating impact of social distance on people’s sense of motivation, performance and well-being.

“Organisations with a fully activated purpose appear to be able to effectively bridge the social distance of remote work, making a dramatic impact on their employees’ emotional connection and feelings of responsibility, care and commitment.”

He added: “For organisations that have run the Index to date, activating purpose has resulted in an average 33% increase in performance behaviours in terms of clarity, commitment, engagement and openness to ideas.”