Home | Tapping Your Employees’ Superpowers

According to a recent study, 4.3 million Americans resigned from their jobs in August of this year alone. Global talent shortages are at a 15-year high, with 69% of companies worldwide reporting talent shortages. This talent crunch, along with the trend for many companies to move from 100% remote work to a hybrid or back to a fully in-person model, is causing many business leaders to reconsider what keeps their teams happy and productive. Many are asking: how can we keep employees invested in and passionate about our brand in this new hybrid environment? How can we engage our teams fully in our social impact programs as we transition into new ways of working and volunteering?

One key to keeping the best employees on board may lie in how well companies give them the opportunity to put their own skills and interests to into action. In our book, we call these “superpowers,” contributing towards helping their company’s overall impact efforts. Just as businesses have unique abilities and resources to solve problems for their communities, their employees have their own set of “superpowers.” When utilized, these personal superpowers can add a rich dimension to the company’s social impact profile.

Unleashing superpowers can be as simple and informal as assigning appropriate roles to your employees for a volunteer project. Got a photographer on the team? Put them to good use taking photos at the event. Have a group that loves to haul things in their pickup trucks? Put them in charge of collecting the cans from your office locations for your food drive. Over time, of course, you can become more intentional and strategic about how you use your employee’s skills. For example, we do an employee survey or focus group with our client teams to identify employee interests such as public speaking, strategic planning, committee leadership, budget planning, and more. Effectively leveraging these skills and interests helps extend our client’s impact footprint in the community, even with limited formal staff resources. For a fully automated approach, Revere connects your team to skills-based volunteering projects that they can source and manage on their own.

Asking your employees how they want to get involved and connecting them to resources and opportunities helps employees feel more fulfilled in work – and fulfilled employees outperform 80% of people in their field (source). People’s desire for fulfillment at work is powerful, according to a PwC/CERC survey, which found that 70% of those surveyed said they would leave their current job for a more fulfilling opportunity, and one in three would consider lower pay to find more on-the-job fulfillment. Employees, especially the younger workforce, are looking for a deeper meaning in their work and to feel as though they are contributing to something impactful. Millennials are especially vigilant about researching and weighing the values and cultures of companies they want to work for. Gen Z is following suit, looking for authentic commitments from their employer to take action to solve the world’s problems.

This is worth the effort: studies show companies that do a better job of engaging their employees through social impact can reduce average turnover over time by 25 to 50 percent.

Employers are understanding that social impact is a critical component to an effective business strategy.  In today’s connected and interdependent world, employees increasingly demand that businesses and their suppliers take part in creating solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. It’s time to fire up those superpowers to build engagement and loyalty.


Maggie Z. Miller and Hannah Nokes are ForbesBooks co-authors of Magnify Your Impact: Powering Profit with Purpose (www.magnify-impact.com). They also are co-founders of Magnify Impact, a company that helps business leaders create effective social impact strategies. Miller has developed social impact solutions with hundreds of company leaders globally. Previously, she founded an international nonprofit organization to provide microcredit loans for thousands of women in Peru. Nokes has led corporate social responsibility for global corporations and founded an impact collaborative of companies in Austin, Texas.