December presents many opportunities to wrap up the year by celebrating. Holiday parties, decorating contests, potlucks, and gift exchanges are common ways organizations celebrate the holiday season and the end of the year. Office halls are full of holiday cheer and teams reflecting on the past year and its successes.
Celebrating is most meaningful when with others. Many teams celebrate their successes in an annual report. An annual report can be a great tool to communicate successes made by individual team members and the team. A team can share its report with organizational leadership, other internal teams, and beyond! The best annual reports evokes strong interest in why their team has worked toward its objective and how, is data-driven, and is impact-focused.
Many organizations have a mission statement that clearly explains the organization’s reason for existence, purpose, and its overall intention. Teams implement their mission to meet organizational goals while upholding organizational values. It is important to clearly communicate your team’s purpose at the beginning and throughout an annual report. Connecting your mission to your activities and accomplishments of the past year can build trust and develop connections with the groups you share your report with within your organization.
Forbes Nonprofit Council encourages consistent tracking and documentation throughout the year in order to have strong data for an annual report. It is important to have a strong balance of quantitative and qualitative data. Communicate individual team members’ successes and create space for them to share a personal highlight from the year. Additionally, share team collaboration and successes. You can also share connections made with other team members within your organization. For example, your team may have taken Sonic drinks to another department during a busy week for their team and the organization. Take it further by highlighting partnerships or sponsorships with groups outside your organization. For example, your team may have hosted a clothing drive to support a clothes closet at a local elementary school. A data-driven annual report can reflect strong organizational values and capture monetary and relational growth within an organization.
The best report uses language that is clearly understood to communicate what goals were created at the beginning of the year and the methods the team took to achieve those goals. A well-written annual report connects the consumer and team activities to outcomes that have created a measurable impact to the organization.
Sharing Your Success
Celebrate team successes by sharing your annual report with your executive team. Sharing your annual report with the executive team can allow them to see how you have responsibly used company dollars and their impact; this can build trust and lead to continued funds for the following year. You can also share it with your internal team. Often, there needs to be more communication and knowledge of what different departments do within an organization. Sharing an annual report with the internal team can bring clarity and insight into what a team does and how they contribute to the organization’s growth. Lastly, you may share some of your team’s successes with consumers within your market. Social media is a great tool to showcase your organizational values. For example, you may choose to share photos of your team attending a conference relevant to your industry! Or you may share the total number of hours your team volunteered in the community this year on social media.
Annual reports can be a tool for team member recognition. In survey findings shared by the Society for Human Resource Management and Globo Force, most surveyed HR professionals shared that their company’s recognition practices positively affected retention, engagement, culture, and employee happiness. When team member recognition practices were connected to organizational values, the programs were more likely to lead to a higher perceived return on investment among employees.
If you have never created an annual report, consider developing one with your team to wrap up the year celebrating! If you do, ensure it aligns with your organization’s values to get the best outcomes. Using an annual report to recognize your team members for upholding organizational values represents the organization’s faithfulness to their values. Annual reports can help positively impact workplace culture with these values and develop trust among team members, leadership, and the community.
Arkansas State University
Forbes NonProfit Council
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Written By: My HR Professionals
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