By: Nicole Martin
Chief Empowerment Officer, HRBoost LLC
Both small and large companies need to attract talent then develop and retain the best talent for their organizations. Both nonprofits and for-profit businesses must comply with the ever-changing maze of the regulatory environment. When it comes to talent however, nonprofit businesses have a hidden competitive advantage: they lead with heart. Nearly every NPO has their transcendent organizational purpose at the forefront of their vision and mission statement. What is often missed however is the strategic opportunity to link their transcendent organizational purpose to the deeper calling talent seeks through their work experience today.
The four pillars of high performing companies may be just the food for thought a nonprofit business needs. When kept in mind, these four pillars can lay a strong foundation for not only attracting talent and building brand ambassadors but building a competitive advantage that can correlate to a 17% ROI to the bottom line. Talent seeks transcendent organizational purpose, and this is where every NPO can excel in connecting their mission through passion for a culture that truly lives for the cause.
Pillar #1 Shared Core Values
Businesses with shared core values have leaders who demonstrate trust and care among colleagues. Business leaders tend to agree that culture is important but many still run their businesses expecting managers to manage people. The fundamental truth however is that managers should manage processes, drive results, and invite people to join them. People will in fact, manage themselves to what is measured, while the invitation is the framework for which they will align or misalign. Employees should be invited to collaborate and exchange ideas to create better outcomes. At HRBoost, we believe Service Ideals come from the top, but Core Values are the fabric of the “WE”.
Pillar #2 Everyone is a Leader
As Dr. Ray Benedetto of GuideStar, Inc. has championed through his framework for Character based Capitalism™, effective leaders recognize they do not know everything and can’t do it all. These leaders empower others to be leaders – to think and act like owners. Strategic leaders define while Operational leaders model desired values and behaviors. Edward Schein’s work outlines that leadership and culture are on the same side of a two-sided coin. Thus, Grass Roots leaders are in unique positions to develop ideas that increase productivity and they must be empowered to witness any misalignment to value. When this is done well, these leaders are equally empowered to do something about it. Organizational leadership is the framework for leadership at all levels in the business.
Pillar #3 Transcendent Organizational Purpose
This is a well-defined purpose toward which everyone in the business gladly and willingly devotes mental and physical energies, not merely making money but to make the world a better place. Further, every employee has a clear line knowing that what they do makes a difference.
Pillar #4 Performance Excellence
The commitment to performance excellence depends on six key attributes that Dr. Ray Benedetto discovered through his studies. Without them, a business cannot effectively align its workforce holistically as it relates to the four pillars. They are Leadership (Transformational Leadership and Emotionally Intelligent Leadership), Knowledge (Transparency and Collaboration or Shared Creation), and Execution (Mindfulness and Teamwork). The extent to which each of the six attributes lives in your business is foundational to performance excellence.
Clearly, the skills shortage and tight labor market are challenges facing every business. But only the top ten (10%) percent of businesses are focused on building employee-first cultures. Nonprofit businesses most certainly have one of the three pillars. Just think what they can accomplish if they align all the pillars to compete for talent in the years to come.