Is Impact Part of Your Social Enterprise’s Culture?

3 min read

As a social enterprise leader, you know that using your business as a force for good is about much more than simply having a positive mission. It is about making impact a part of everything you do. And usually, that begins internally. But is impact really part of your culture?

Here are four questions you can ask yourself to find out:

1. Can all of our team members clearly articulate our mission and why it matters?

Ask everyone, from your administrative assistant to your CFO, to explain your mission. Ask them not just to recite the mission statement, but to describe in detail what it means, how it’s carried out, and why it’s important to your company’s ethos. They should be able to clearly articulate the impact you’re making, but more importantly, why it matters and how they’re living the mission out in their day-to-day work.

2. Is purpose a core component of our onboarding process?

When a new hire comes on board, you’ll inevitably spend a considerable amount of time training them on the skills and tasks necessary to excel in their roles. But do you train them on what your company stands for and works toward? All the job skills in the world can’t outweigh a true commitment to your cause. Make sharing information about your impact and getting your employees involved in delivering it a core part of your onboarding process from day one, and you’ll find your team members perform better, stay longer and contribute more to the big picture.

3. Do all our team members understand the role that they can play in advancing our impact? Do they act on it?

Companies that are truly committed to serving as a force for good don’t make impact a side project. They make it part of every employee’s daily work. Because of this, every person on your team should be able to explain the role they personally play in driving the change your company seeks. If they can’t, either you haven’t done enough to build impact into every layer of your organization, or you haven’t done a sufficient job of communicating how each position contributes to your mission.

Companies that are truly committed to serving as a force for good don’t make impact a side project. They make it part of every employee's daily work. Click To Tweet

4. Are our employees happier to come to work and more likely to stay around due to our focus on impact?

A 2012 study from Net Impact found half of those who have an opportunity to make a difference with their work are very satisfied with their jobs. Just 10 percent of those same people are dissatisfied. Conversely, 26 percent of those who do not have the opportunity to make a difference at work are satisfied, while 28% are dissatisfied. The numbers don’t lie – doing good and giving your employees an opportunity to make an impact is a stellar engagement and retention strategy. When you look around at your team, would you characterize them as invested in your company’s success and the success of the people it serves? Would you say they’re inspired by their work and proud of its outcomes? If so, you’ve likely done a great job making your mission a part of your culture. Now, it’s time to make sure the world knows it.

Communicate with impact - a guide for social enterprise leadersIf your company has a commitment to social impact that isn’t coming through in your culture, poor communication could be to blame, and an internal communication strategy could be the answer.  Our new ebook, A Crash Course in Building a Results-Driven Marketing Program for Your Changemaking Organization is a great starting point for learning how to build an internal communication strategy as part of a larger marketing program for your social enterprise.

Access the nonprofit marketing budget guide now



Tell us: how did you answer these questions? If you need help building your impact mindset internally and then communicating about it externally,  we’re your firm.

Photo Credit: Brett Neilson