A lot of non-profits have people who are in high burnout positions. We've known for quite a while that people like social workers historically have suffered high rates of burnout. We've been aware that this is the case for work in which there is high pressure, little in the way of tangible rewards, and difficulty finding unambiguous successes.
What we have not heard a lot about is how having a sense of purpose and accomplishment help the organization's bottom line. An article at the Harvard Business Review Blog Network by Susan David adds to the old discussion about the importance of people seeing how their work fits into the big picture, and how the satisfaction of being appreciated for completing work bears far-reaching fruit. The article is entitled "Is Busyness Bad for Business?".
Here's the link: http://tinyurl.com/8c4ybsh