You may not think you have the time or the resources available for giving back to your community, but even if your business is still young and growing, giving back can be good for your company.
Fostering a spirit of giving back is key to the health and happiness of your employees and for your organization’s connection with the surrounding community.
Here’s a look at ten reasons why giving back is a great decision for your company.
1. Encourage teamwork
Rallying your team behind an initiative other than work can do wonders for team building and employee engagement. While employees ideally feel engaged by their normal tasks, it can be helpful to shake things up a little, and may even help new employees feel more welcome.
2. Have fun
Whether you’re providing hot meals to members of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside or kicking a ball around in support of local sports programs, it can be fun to take time out of the office and try something different, and all for a good cause!
3. Connect with your community
Feeling like you are part of a team is great, but feeling like you’re really part of the broader community of your company is even better.
It’s easy to get caught up in one’s own needs and goals. However, giving back can help build respect and awareness for the jobs being done by different teams within your business and for issues in the surrounding community. For example, Kelmscott Communications told Inc.com that volunteer time helped bridge the gap between account executives and production teams.
4. Keep the big picture in mind
In a column for the Globe and Mail, LinkedIn’s Brian Church argued that it’s important for businesses to remember the potential they have for change.
“Celebrating and acting upon the potential of your employees to make a difference can empower them to strive for change, rather than concentrating on short-term gain,” he wrote. “If you demonstrate the value of giving back to you, this can trickle down throughout your organization.”
5. Target social issues and business issues
An article from the Harvard Business Review stated that charitable efforts and business investments don’t have to be mutually exclusive. This is because there are times when improving the community your company operates in can also be beneficial to your business.
Examples of such scenarios include investments in local education that can help build a workforce, or investments in improving the local community, in turn potentially improving market demand for one’s product.
6. Improve competitive context
Most companies are looking for ways to help their business grow, and further to the point above, the Harvard Business Review suggested that CEOs could do just that through their philanthropic efforts.
According to Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, the authors of the study, it’s all about improving one’s competitive context, or the environment in which one’s business operates.
“Using philanthropy to enhance context brings social and economic goals into alignment and improves a company’s long-term business prospects.”
7. Inspire with charitable rewards
There are small ways that charity can help inspire your team and improve your business as well.
Chimp outlined how a children’s soccer team quickly increased the number of times they passed the ball to each other when supporters made charitable donations as the players learned the skills.
Whether that outcome would translate to adults in the workplace is difficult to say, but it could be worth implementing and testing such a setup. And, having a clear policy for charitable rewards and contributions is a good place to start and is important for helping everyone understand what’s expected.
8. Help retain top talent
In the current market, it’s getting more and more difficult to retain top talent, and it will take some forward thinking to find new ways to bring on new talent.
As Church noted in his column for the Globe and Mail, cultivating a culture of giving back is one more way to attract amazing individuals. “To earn employees’ loyalty, you must provide them with a workplace they can be proud of,” he said.
9. Inspire confidence
Church also suggested that giving creates a “mindset of abundance” and sends a message that your business is thriving. While that’s great to consider from a marketing perspective, Church noted that charitable initiatives inspire confidence in one’s business and trust in management.
10. Giving back is just good
We all wish we had more time to give to charity. Encouraging employees to give back to their communities can help your team feel empowered and inspired to help bring about change both at work and in their communities.
Over to you
There are clearly plenty of reasons why taking on charitable initiatives is good for business. Taking a look at the list, it’s clear why we think that volunteering and aiming to provide support in our community is important.
Whatever methods you use to engage your team and recruit top talent, encouraging charity and volunteer work is more than just a passing trend.