The charities and not-for-profit sector is an integral part of Australian society. Our research has shown that charity workers believe it provides a pathway for Australians to do their human duty of providing hands on help to others in need (68% strongly/somewhat agree).
An essential part of any organisation is to communicate the impact of the work the organisation – and the people in it – are able to achieve. We all want to know what we do each day is making a difference for someone. This is especially important for not-for-profits and charities, because workers in this sector choose to do so in order to have a positive impact.
Not-for-profit workers are drawn to working for purpose
Charity workers are choosing to work for their organisations because they want to make a positive impact (54%). Organisational values are also important to charity workers with 39% choosing to work for their organisation because the organisational values align with their beliefs.
This is also true for younger workers, who are highly represented in the charities and not-for-profit sector. Almost two in five charity workers (37%) believe the largest proportion of their staff are Gen Y. Followed by a further two in five (36%) who believe the largest proportion of their staff are Gen X. Our research into the emerging generations shows that – regardless of what sector they work in – they are looking to have a positive impact with their work.
Honesty and transparency within an organisation are important to employee and volunteer engagement
Leaders who communicate with transparency and honesty build trust with their employees, especially in times of great change. Our research has shown that almost half of charity workers (46%) define their ideal leader as one who is honest, promotes employee wellbeing (39%) and is an active listener (37%). One in three define their ideal leader as one who is fair (34%), entrusts their team (33%) and has a clear vision (32%).
Communicating the vision and impacts is not just important for employees in the not-for-profit sector, but also for volunteers. Positively, more than half of volunteers say their organisation is extremely/very effective when clearly articulating mission and values (59%) and achieving mission and values (58%).
How to communicate the impacts
There are many ways organisations and leaders can communicate the impacts internally to their team. From formal staff meetings to informal celebrations, building the communication of impacts into the culture of an organisation is an important part of attracting and retaining engaged and enthusiastic employees and volunteers. Communicating the impacts of people’s work helps them to feel motivated and engaged in their work.
When communicating impacts internally, there is greater room for creativity than there is when communicating them publicly. Some examples of the internal communication of impacts could be delivering them in a fun presentation or having tangible demonstrations of the impact in the workplace – the opportunities are endless.
Along with getting creative, there are two tried and tested ways of communicating impact. First is the use of data to measure and show the impact. The second is to utilise stories – an extremely powerful form of communication. This combination of communicating with the head (evidence-based data) and heart (stories) is a great starting point for not-for-profits to communicate their impact internally.