Encouraging community involvement in your company is a great way to distinguish yourselves from your competitors and often reaps many benefits, including happier employees and loyal customers. In fact, when deciding where to shop and which services to buy, many consumers will take corporate social responsibility (CSR) into consideration before making a decision. A company involved in the local community is oftentimes seen as much more approachable than one that is not, possibly resulting in successful business connections you might not otherwise have established.
Below are a few benefits of incorporating a community involvement action plan into your business strategy.
- Enhance Your Business Profile with Stronger Ties to the Community: Volunteering is a great way to bring awareness to your brand. Anyone who has worked in sales knows that many great business connections often start with positive word of mouth. Community Involvement can function as a starting point for these conversations, while also establishing a reputation for giving back to the community.
- Volunteering Oftentimes Results in More Business: Volunteerism creates greater public exposure for your company and can result in referrals that ultimately lead to more business. Don’t feel guilty about increased business resulting from community service. With more business comes an expanded toolbox of resources for giving back. It’s a positive cycle of influence in which both parties benefit over time.
- Higher Employee Moral & Team Building: Changing the atmosphere and working together outside of the office environment is great for bringing employees together as a team. Not only does it help people feel better about the company they work for, it also brings coworkers together who may not normally work with one another on a daily basis. Many people in the workforce, especially those from younger generations enjoy altruistic pursuits, but do not have time in their schedules or the means to commit to these activities. Offering volunteer opportunities in the office can be a perk to interested employees, giving the company considerable employee retention and a recruiting edge over its competitors.
So how do you get employees interested in community involvement?
- Establish a Community Service Committee: Recruit employees who are interested in helping to organize events and recruit volunteers. The level of service is different for every company. Some businesses prefer to be involved in one or two larger events per year, whiles others enjoy more frequent, smaller events. Pick the level of involvement that is right for your company culture to set your business up for success over time.
- Don’t Force People to Participate: Don’t tell employees to participate. Ask. Community involvement can take whatever form an employee chooses. Encourage people to give feedback and to find something they are passionate about. Let them commit to that service during work hours. Giving back should be positive and fun. Brainstorm ways to generate interest throughout the company without pressuring people to participate.
- Plan Ahead: Stay organized and start with realistic expectations. Start with one or two events and build from there. Keep it fun and gradually build up your level of company involvement over time. The last thing you want to do is to overburden yourself with unrealistic expectations and get frustrated. Start small and grow.
Just recently the Network Center, Inc. employees participated in a Pack-A-Thon at the Great Plains Food Bank. In one hour volunteers packaged 1800 lbs. of food that will be distributed to families in need throughout our community. The event received very positive feedback from employees who volunteered.
“I really enjoyed helping out at the Great Plains Food Bank. I plan to do it again, and look forward to other volunteering opportunities that help people in our community. It was also nice to spend time with co-workers I don’t work with on a regular basis." - Paul Staszko, Network Center, Inc. Software Developer
There are countless ways of giving back to your local community and doing so can boost your employee morale, enhance and create new business connections, and improve your bottom line. Learn more about how Network Center Inc. gives back to the community by visiting our Community Involvement page, and reach out to us to learn how giving back can be an integral part of your overall marketing strategy.