Businesses giving back. It’s not a new idea, and it certainly sounds like a good thing—but many leaders aren’t so clear on why their organizations should prioritize social contribution. Volunteering your organization’s time, energy and resources to give back to the community seems like a nice idea in theory, but often gets categorized as a “nice to have” rather than a core business practice, and more often than not, doesn’t make the priority list.
Though the official “season for giving” is often thought to be during the December holiday season, making time to give back allows your business to model the attitude we all need to see more of year-round.
Here are three good reasons to put social contribution at the top of your organization’s list of “must-do’s”:
Boosts employee engagement. It might sound cheesy, but most of us want to make the world a better place, and being able to contribute to a worthwhile cause just feels good. Many employees are too busy to volunteer on their own time, and appreciate their employer providing them with opportunities to give back during the work day. Incorporating social contribution into work hours can make your team excited to come to work, and creates opportunities for connection over something other than work. Social contribution also helps set the tone for your culture, and encourages employees to do the things you’d like to see more of in your organization. Make sure your efforts hold meaning for employees by involving your team in decisions about where to target philanthropic efforts.
Makes you an employer of choice. Giving back not only boosts employee engagement, it also makes recruiting easier by communicating your values. Employees respect leaders who do good things, and want to work for organizations that contribute positively to the community and the world. Millennials in particular are likely to base employment decisions on finding meaning in their work, and organization-sponsored giving back initiatives are a great way to foster that sense of meaning while boosting your employer brand.
Builds community. Giving back is a great way to connect to your community, and network with individuals and business people you may not have met otherwise. It’s also a great way to demonstrate that your organization and its leaders care about the people in your community. By leveraging your financial success to help those around you, your business and its leaders model the behaviour we all need to see more of in the world.
Feeling motivated to start your own social contribution initiative? We definitely are!
Check out Engaged HR’s community give back program, Engaged for Good™!