Parker McKenna
Parker McKenna, Senior Vice President of Human Resources

Mosaic’s Mission Matters

“Daddy, why do you go to work?”  

My 4 year-old son’s question at the breakfast table one day last week forced me to pause mid-oatmeal bite. “That’s a good question”, I said in an effort to side-step a never ending series of “why’s” … “Let me get back to you.”

The question resurfaced in my mind several times throughout the day. It really is a good question, isn’t it?

The answer is different at various stages of our lives. When we first enter the workforce, we’re excited to launch the new chapter of our working lives and we may even be “going to work,” because it’s what we’ve seen our parents or grandparents do–it’s what we know. As we gain experience, we often find ourselves at crossroads in our careers, each path offering different pros and cons. We may even have the luxury of choosing between multiple “good” options. So, how do we decide how and where to spend the roughly one-third of our lives that most of us will be working?

All of us are motivated differently. As the person chiefly responsible for the Mosaic workforce, this is the issue that keeps me up at night. Are we doing everything we can to attract and retain the best talent? Are leaders equipped to engage their teams as effectively as possible? Are we offering the best possible combination of factors to recognize and reward our workforce? We refer to this as the Workforce Value Proposition (WVP)–the combination of factors that the workforce receives in exchange for working with Mosaic. Of course, there is always room to improve our WVP and, as a nonprofit, Mosaic’s resources are limited.

However, Mosaic offers something as a component of our WVP that is very difficult to find elsewhere: an incredibly impactful mission.

Research into workforce engagement tells us that employees who fall in love with the mission of the organization feel more connected to the entire workforce experience, leading to higher engagement, productivity, and loyalty. In fact, a workforce that is driven by the organization’s mission is 54% more likely to stay with the organization for five or more years, and 30% more likely to become a high performer.

Leaders at Mosaic, with the Human Resource (HR) team championing the effort, are charged with helping connect our workforce to our mission with the goal of intertwining the two; we want our workforce to be a part of who we are as an organization, and vice versa. At Mosaic, this charge is pretty easy; our mission speaks for itself. Mosaic literally changes lives. We save lives. We create opportunities for the individuals we support to live lives that they likely could not even imagine. Ultimately, if we recruit the right people to join the Mosaic family–people who bring the right skills and experience, but that are also very likely to be driven by mission –we will have hit the mark.

What a privilege it is … for Mosaic to partner with a workforce that believes in our mission and makes us better, and for the workforce to have the opportunity to change the lives of those we support.

I’ve been fortunate to experience several organizations and industries as an HR leader. Large and small, public and private, for profit and nonprofit. Ultimately, I test my own personal engagement in my work with one question: Will this work matter in the future? As I celebrate my first day of retirement (years from now–I’ll be on a beach, by the way), and I look back at a full career, will my work have made a difference to anyone?

So, as you can probably tell by now, the answer to my son’s question is pretty clear. Our mission at Mosaic matters. It makes a difference, and that’s why I “go to work.”

My hope for all of the Mosaic workforce is that they too know and feel that what they do makes a difference, because it does.

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