Guest Blog: Doing Well by Doing Good: It Works!
Celebrating Pro Bono Week 2014
Posted by Pamela Paton, Financial Services Executive and Common Impact Board Member
After 30 years of managing people in the corporate world, I've learned that the best employees are happy employees. Not just happy because their job is challenging and the salary is great, but because the company that they work for recognizes the importance of giving back to one's community. This concept is not new, even Ben Franklin referred to it a long time ago, and there are many studies available on the topic.
Pro Bono Week exemplifies this ideal. It proves that companies can be successful while helping others. Common Impact's leadership in skills-based volunteerism is the bridge for companies to engage their employees while partnering with a community-based nonprofit. What fun it is for an IT employee who may develop code all day to build a website that will publicize a nonprofit's vision and mission. What better way for staff from different parts of the world to get to know each other than to work as a team to do "something good."
As a volunteer myself, I never got over the special feeling of accomplishing what may be small to me but huge to the nonprofit, particularly when doing it with my own staff. Working together outside the office environment provided an opportunity to get to know them. Showing them a different side of me, not just the harried manager, hopefully helped them realize that I was human too. It also offered me insight into other skills individuals may have that are not obvious during work hours. Watching who takes the leadership role, who is the organizer, planner, creative thinker, doer, team builder....so many traits that are necessary to be successful at work.
PepsiCo's CEO Indra Nooyi manages the company by "Performance with Purpose." In a letter from the CEO, she reflects, "...Performance with Purpose fuels our growth and allows us to stay ahead of trends shaping our industry and the world in which we operate. It galvanizes our global associates, positions our business to deliver today and well into the future, and protects resources for the next generation...We will continue to work with governments, NGOs, local community partners and other industry leaders toward common goals and fight for those things that make the world a better place."
Sound similar? So this week give it a try. Gather your staff and find an opportunity to 'do well by doing good.' Your employees will view you as a different kind of leader, in a different kind of company, and most importantly, as different kinds of employees themselves. There is nothing like that feeling in the world!