You may spend a significant amount of time branding your business with taglines, logos and a distinctive voice used throughout offline and online content, but have you thought about how having a service-oriented attitude could help your business stand out in the marketplace, too? If not, you’re overlooking a potentially valuable factor that could help your company achieve better visibility and an improved reputation.
Volunteering Helps Your Employees Contribute in Obvious Ways
Perhaps your company already supports charities by giving periodic donations. If that’s true, keep it up, and know your contributions make positive impacts. However, one difference between writing a check for a determined amount and encouraging employees to serve their communities is that the latter helps people view your establishment as one that cares about making a difference in ways that are arguably harder to overlook.
Statistics showed that 91% of respondents in a survey about volunteerism believe it’s important to let employees volunteer on paid time. With that in mind, explore the possibility of permitting workers to leave an hour or two early on a particular day to volunteer at a soup kitchen, shelter or another organization in the community that helps people in need.
Many employees are eager to do what they can to help their communities but are so reliant upon getting paid consistent amounts on their paychecks that it may not be financially feasible for them to volunteer off the clock. If you provide the option of paid volunteer time, the level of interest in your workplace could go up, while reducing money-related stress.
Consumer Trust Increases When Brands Back Social Causes
Due to the increase in fake news and data breaches, it’s often hard for consumers to conclude the brands they buy are trustworthy. However, statistics from 2015 indicate 90% of Americans are more likely to trust and show loyalty towards brands that actively work to make a difference.
Building your brand through community service probably won’t involve staying quiet about the latest activities that served others. Instead, you might want to devote a section of your website to causes you support and don’t forget to mention similar details on social media feeds. Also, consider how local radio and television stations regularly cover human-interest stories and might want to profile your company. As awareness in the target market rises, your profits could, as well.
Your Multi-Talented Workforce Can Use Its Resources
Maybe you’re under the impression any volunteering opportunities will require employees to receive time-consuming training that could make the whole idea of giving back less appealing. However, it’s important to realize that your employees almost certainly have useful abilities and expertise that community organizations need. They might also have relevant contacts gained through networking.
For example, a South Carolina law firm emphasized a desire to give back by sponsoring a charity golf tournament set up by the South Carolina Bar’s young lawyer’s group. It also backed a fundraiser for a local child advocacy group that helps abuse victims.
Sponsorship is an effective way to highlight your company’s commitment to giving back while also potentially tapping into existing connections. It’s not hard to see how those charitable efforts mentioned above are good fits for a law firm.
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the thought of initially positioning your business as one that regularly gives back, browse through a list of collected email or mailing addresses of nearby groups or individuals and determining if the information you have could lead to community service opportunities. Increase the potential worthiness of this activity by asking your employees to do the same.
It’s highly likely you or your workers will come up with at least a few leads that could allow you to sponsor an event, give services free of charge on particular nights of the week for people in need or team up with another company to maximize the overall impact. After evaluating existing skills and contacts, you can branch out from there. Plus, employees feel good knowing they contributed to your search for ways to volunteer.
Employees Believe They Can Make Significant Impacts
Are there people from the millennial era in your workforce? If so, the results of The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017 should provide even more encouragement not to wait any longer to start incorporating community service initiatives into employees’ ongoing activities.
The poll found that small-scale efforts to give back — including those originating in the workplace — give millennials a greater sense of impact and influence compared to trying to combat the world’s largest issues head-on. The smaller but still important efforts, they believe, help create a ripple effect.
Whether your employees are millennials or not, emphasize how community service helps people leave lasting, positive marks on a world that’s far too often dominated by disasters, terrorism and other devastating events that capture headlines and make people feel discouraged. You can also remind workers of benefits of teamwork, and highlight how it’s often possible to do even more through the combined efforts of like-minded individuals.
Volunteerism Could Help Your Business Appeal to Jobseekers
As it turns out, it’s not just millennials who want to make positive impacts at work. Each year, the Globoforce WorkHuman Research Institute surveys full-time employees to find out specifics including the factors that cause them to feel motivated.
One of the key takeaways from the most recent survey that got feedback from over 2,700 people was that 32% of people stay at their jobs because they find the work meaningful. When you’re ready to hire, it’s often hard to use a job listing to convey how employees at your business are engaged in tasks that genuinely make them feel fulfilled.
However, you could easily bring up how your company gives workers chances to volunteer or enrich their communities in other ways. Outside of a job listing, you might consider asking employees to wear branded shirts while taking part in community service. The design of the apparel could draw attention to your businesses’ service-oriented slant, as well as the fact there are open positions available for candidates who are ready to make career moves.
It should now be obvious that volunteerism is a powerful way to brand your business and make it memorable to consumers, as well as current and potential employees. In closing, remember that even the smallest decisions to help others can help fuel progress, so it’s okay to gradually ramp up your efforts as you become more comfortable with the idea of volunteering and begin to understand where and how your company can have the strongest effects.