Getting involved in the community is a great way for any organization to build relationships and boost visibility and brand awareness. Whether it’s by sponsoring or taking part in community programs, or by enabling employee volunteerism, companies that encourage involvement in the community stand out among their peers and see multiple benefits as a result, such as a happier workforce or a more loyal customer base.
Below, six members of Forbes Human Resources Council explain why community involvement is important and how volunteerism can help both employers and employees.
The Right Thing to Do
“Getting involved in the community is easy, and there are many benefits. Partner with a local non-profit on your next team building. Contact their HR and determine what needs to be done. Ideas can be around cleaning a trail, serving meals to seniors or painting. The benefits? PR, community relationship building and demonstrating your values to the organization. Plus, it’s just the right thing to do!” – Michele Gonzalez-Pitek, The Unity Council
Local Roles, Local Talent
“The best way for an employer to support their community is to publish their local employment demand. Location is a big driver in employment decisions as it affects work/life balance. If an employer has one position in 20 different locations around the country, each with slightly different skill needs, then each manager should be the publisher of their local role, to the local community of talent.” – Rick Devine, TalentSky, Inc.
Community in the Front, Business in the Rear
“Too often, organizations focus on community involvement only to get something back in return – more profits, marketing, etc. Take a ‘community in the front, business in the rear’ approach. Do the community work personally and you will benefit by seeing the difference. Build a playground or help students understand how to network in business. Genuinely help people and the benefits will come.” – Ben Martinez, HireVue
“Community involvement provides employees with a way to interact with each other outside of the workplace. Community events bring employees together in a different light, where they get to know one another better. As a result, employees create stronger bonds and collaborate effortlessly in the work environment. When you have a close-knit culture, employee satisfaction increases!” – Tiffany Servatius, Scott’s Marketplace
A Better Community, Higher Employee Morale
“I was asked to find ways for our chain of restaurants to impact the community beyond donations. I considered all of the communities served by our brand and wondered about local needs. The LOTA Heart Challenge was born. Our stores compete with each other annually to make the biggest impact in their communities.”– Cristin Heyns-Bousliman, Blake’s Lotaburger, LLC
Team Building and Talent Attraction
“Community involvement programs are invaluable for allowing employers and employees to give back to the community with their time and resources. In addition to great team building, employers gain visibility by attracting new talent who want to volunteer at their companies. One way employers can encourage involvement is to provide employees with a number of paid volunteer hours per month or quarter.” – John Feldmann, Insperity