Social entrepreneurs are excellent at rallying people around a mission.
For example, Life Equals is a Kansas City-based company that energizes its employees around the idea of bringing nutrition to malnourished children all over the world. It does something powerful to people when they know they are working for a cause greater than themselves, and social entrepreneurs excel at this kind of motivation.
Unfortunately, many traditional companies fail to create the same level of motivation in their teams because they fail to inspire. Today, let’s look at five lessons that social entrepreneurs can teach traditional businesses about inspiring a team.
- People want more meaning, over more money. Yup, you read that right. More than a fat paycheck, people want work that has meaning. That’s not to say they’ll work for peanuts, but weaving your company’s meaning into your culture is a worthwhile endeavor.
- People want to become part of something bigger than themselves. In my early career, I worked with The Dave Ramsey Show. Everyday we were reminded that we were about the business of restoring hope. From client stories that decorated our walls, to the everyday conversations about why our work mattered, we were never allowed to forget that we were restoring lives.
- Offer opportunities to serve. On top of Dave Ramsey’s mission-driven work, he also pays his employees for 40 hours per year of volunteer time with an organization of their choosing. Paid volunteer programs like this are becoming more popular at companies because competitive job seekers are demanding this benefit.
- Clearly articulate your community impact. Employees want to be involved in the charitable giving of your company. They also want to understand how it connects to your larger mission and how they can become a part of it. Thus, working to engage your team to be involved in the community is a valuable way to inspire them.
- Be genuine. Yes, it’s fun making money, but people also like to know that there’s more to a company’s leadership than money. Encourage your leaders to be genuinely open with the team about why they believe in the company mission and the way it does business.
By implementing these lessons from social entrepreneurship, you will set yourself up to recruit and retain some of the best employees on the market right now. Fail to do this, and you risk building an uninspired, unmotivated team.
Josh is the founder of Social Change Nation, whose mission and passion is to provide startup social entrepreneurs with the best possible resources and tools for growing their ventures. He hosts a podcast featuring interviews with the world’s leading change agents and creates online content to help startups make a dollar AND a difference.