I was talking the other day about what companies can learn from charities, and this generated some interesting discussion. My premise was that people devote significant time and money to charities because they get a sense of deeper purpose. It helps them feel good about their contributions when they know that it’s important.
There’s a range of reasons why your employees should be excited to work for you. Sure, you give them a paycheck. Less than you’d like, perhaps, but enough to help them live their lives. And you’ve tried to create a work environment where everybody is clear on what they’re doing and is guided in the right direction.
But that’s just the price of entry. Without that, you won’t be able to attract or keep employees at all.
You’re looking for more than just the bare-bones contributions, right? What’s going to help people to pull that out of themselves? It’s the sense of deeper purpose, mission, and values. If your employees can see that their contributions make a difference in the world, they’re going to be inspired to do more.
And it’s not like that “difference” needs to be earth-shattering. Sure, some organizations are out to change the world. More power to ‘em. But even having a sense of contribution in the local community can be powerful, because it’s immediate and easier to see.
I was talking with a gentleman recently who is building a company which will give 10% of its proceeds to a particular kind of charity. He’s not even planning to make a big deal out of it in his marketing, it’s just based on the values that he holds dearly. Don’t you think that employees will notice and think more deeply about how their work has more value than just making money? Absolutely.
And I totally endorse the idea of NOT using it as a tool to manipulate customers or workers. That makes it more credible, because there’s a lot of cynical people around these days.
If you want to figure out how to find and articulate your vision and purpose in a way which will build a more powerful company, give your business coach a call!
Small Fish Business Coaching Fort Collins
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Even though Jon’s not really a CEO, only a director and a business coach (because we don’t believe in awarding ourselves fancy titles), he’s doing the CEO Sleepout to support Vinnies. Jon is going to sleep outdoors on the 16th of June without the benefit of warming alcohol (as it's forbidden), to experience what it’s like to be homeless and, of course, to raise money.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to donate to Vinnie’s and give Jon a pat on the back for supporting a cause to help homeless people. It seems that being homeless is not much fun rather than the easy life that some of us imagine. When Jon gets back, he’ll let you know how it was.
Click here to donate on Vinnie’s website.
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Seamus from Small Fish here.
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