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So last week I wrote about the importance of acknowledging people beyond the paycheck. This week I'm going to talk about the second pillar of donor relations - impact reporting - and how the same idea can help you build a more engaged workforce. One of my favorite TED talks of all is Daniel Pink's "Puzzle of Motivation" (above). In it he speaks about the importance of purpose. Impact reporting is one way to demonstrate fulfillment of purpose. Let me explain... Most donors give with a particular purpose in mind. It might be providing education to deserving students, saving an endangered species or the rain forest, curing a disease, or improving their community. Most donors also realize that it's not going to happen over night; thus, you need to inform them periodically about how they've helped the organization move closer to fulfilling the goal. Many non-profits do this through impact pieces like this one from Cook Children's Health Foundation. Employees (on the whole) are likely looking to do the same. They want their work to mean something; to fulfill a purpose. As Daniel Pink states,
Purpose [is] the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.
What better way for an employer to recognize this truly human desire, than to show employees how they are impacting not only the company, but also the greater world? So many non-profits spend time constructing impact communications for external constituents (donors, volunteers, board members, etc.). What if all employers spent a little more time demonstrating how each employee is contributing to fulfilling the organization's vision, mission, and business objectives. Since I write primarily for a Vermont audience, I have to add that I think this is the perfect state to start such a movement. So many of our companies are small enough, and we work in close-knit communities. I think it would be fantastic if we took the time to recognize the contributions of our fellow employees. It could also be inspiring to see how such a small state (and the companies that operate here) are making an impact on some of today's biggest issues. What better way to take human resources beyond the next benefits form, and show genuine interest and gratitude in your workforce.
How are you showing the connection between your employees' efforts and your company's success?