Using Corporate Volunteering for Community Outreach
Companies that strive to do good for the world and their local communities, as well as their investors, customers, and employees, are seeing the return on their investment. It’s no longer solely about the amount of dollars that a company donates to good causes, but rather, emphasis is being placed on creating a real connection with the community. Businesses are investing more in corporate volunteering programs and are benefiting not only from happier employees who are making a difference, but also from the grassroots community outreach these programs provide.
Studies have shown that some of the benefits of corporate volunteering programs include employee satisfaction, retention, and engagement. They allow employees to use their skills to give back and serve their community, which many feel make their work more meaningful. But the benefits don’t stop at the employee level. A recent study by Macquarie Graduate School of Management and sponsored by Johnson & Johnson shows corporate volunteering is also regarded as very important to key stakeholders and has the potential to play a larger role in business, as well as the community.
Quick morning greetings and lunchtime conversations are not enough to connect employees. Team building activities and corporate outings are a good start, but companies who employ a corporate volunteering program encourage regular interaction between employees without deadlines or meetings. Employees at different levels are able to work side by side for a common good, which can help close the gap between senior and lower level employees. Allow your employees to connect over a cause.
The Face of Your Company
Corporate volunteers put a human face on your company. They represent your business’ mission and values and show the community that your company is more than just the product it produces or services it offers. Corporations are made up of people who care about their community, so show that to the world. By participating in corporate volunteering programs, employees become public ambassadors for your company.
Learn About Your Community
Working in the community allows a unique opportunity for companies to get to know their neighbors. The insights gained while volunteering can then be directly applied to the business. Think of it as a giant networking opportunity. Let’s say your employees participate in a local park cleanup day. While out picking up garbage, they are meeting and having conversations with other people who care about the environment. Your employees may meet someone who could benefit from your company’s product or service. Simply by participating in the cleanup activity, your company’s commitment to the planet is demonstrated, which will put you top-of-mind when the time comes for buying decisions to be made by consumers. The personal connection between your employees and their neighbors without sales pitches is an added bonus of corporate volunteering.
Enhance Your Image
A corporate volunteer program can bring positive change to your company’s image. A group of employees volunteering, perhaps in matching t-shirts bearing your company logo, has a visible impact and makes a strong statement about your company’s mission. It can elevate your company’s visibility in the community. Hosting or organizing a fundraising event could even draw media attention that your fourth-quarter earnings announcement would not. If necessary, a corporate volunteer program could also help to change any negative perceptions about your business and improve your reputation.
Consumers often make emotional buying decisions based on how they feel about a company. So, embrace a corporate volunteer program. It’s good for the community and your employees, as well as your company’s bottom line.