We all know that giving back to our communities is a good thing. But did you realize that volunteering is a powerful tool to help grow your business and improve the lives of your employees?
Let’s look at some of the surprising benefits of serving our communities.
The health and wellness of each individual you employ or work with can either help or harm your business. So if your company wants to thrive, the people working for your company also need to thrive. There’s been a lot of conversation over the past few years about healthy work environments. One way to improve office life is by encouraging and providing opportunities to your employees to give back to their community. Here are a couple of ways volunteering can benefit your employees:
Did you know that thinking about yourself can be detrimental to your health? Obviously, if your basic needs as a human being are being unmet, you need to take care of yourself, but even in the middle of meeting a need, being solely self-focused can actually cause more harm than good.
When we give our thought, time, energy, and resources to others, our stress levels reduce significantly! Not only does volunteering reduce stress, but it will also reduce the impact of an individual’s anxiety and depression. In fact, many psychologists are finding that patients who give back in some way are more resilient to life’s curveballs. Even those with the most severe cases of anxiety and depression find their mental health improves exponentially the more they give back.
We’re also learning that giving back reduces your chances of developing diseases like heart failure and high blood pressure and can even reduce inflammation in the body. Some research even shows people who have lost weight after regularly giving back!
Sociologists have concluded that we as individuals are lonelier today than we’ve ever been in history. For most of human existence, we had to live in small communities that relied on one another for survival. Today, despite being more technologically connected than ever, we have never been more socially disconnected. All of this was amplified by the pandemic and the seemingly never-ending series of tragedies and horrors on display these last few years. It’s no wonder so many people find themselves feeling hopeless and disconnected.
Volunteering is a great way to connect with other people- both those you volunteer with, and those you’re serving. As our society becomes increasingly more polarized, actively choosing to serve someone you don’t know and may disagree with helps us humanize others and remember that, at the end of the day, we’re all looking for human connection.
Researchers have noticed a decline in people’s self-image and self-confidence over the past several years. Basically, we’ve never been more self-absorbed and disliked ourselves so much. When we give back, we feel good. We can connect to a purpose bigger than ourselves and know we had a hand in doing something good. We begin to remember that while we may be unable to fix everything, we can do something to improve our world.
Giving back doesn’t just benefit your individual employees but can transform your entire workplace culture. People want to work for organizations that are actively helping their community. Especially as Millenials and Gen Z begin to make up the majority of the workforce, employees are now looking for good jobs from companies that do good. Here are a couple of ways regularly volunteering can benefit your company culture:
Rally the Troops
There is a special bond that happens when people come together around a common goal. Shared experiences have a powerful impact on our brain chemistry. Doing things together creates friendships and a sense of belonging. But it also connects us to those we’re working with uniquely.
When we do difficult things together, we trust and care about our teammates more deeply. Team members who often don’t see eye to eye find their ability to communicate and empathize with each other improves after completing projects that give back. Even if the actual task isn’t particularly complicated or challenging, doing it with others gives us this sense of “we’re in this together,” which creates camaraderie, trust, and a true sense of family.
This is especially true when leaders are also involved. Communicating to your employees that you’re in the trenches with them and that no task is too difficult or menial for their boss to also participate in creates greater respect for that leader and a true sense that you’re a team.
Loyal and Proud
Your business needs dedicated employees who are passionate about what you do. You need your employees to buy into your culture and values. So when you as a business engage in your local community, give back to causes your employees care about, and provide opportunities for your employees to do good, it’s much easier for them to get on board with your mission.
People want to believe that their work creates change and is meaningful. While sometimes it’s hard to find that meaning in our daily to-do list, it’s easy to see the positive impact of serving. When you provide an opportunity for your employees to do something fulfilling and impactful, they associate that feeling with their work.
Not only can this improve their productivity and even the quality of their work, but it can also impact their value in the business. When your employees are bought in on the mission of your business and can see the business values lived out, you create loyal and passionate employees who are proud of their work.
Volunteering has practical benefits too. Beyond improving the holistic health of those volunteering and your work culture, regular service work can significantly impact your business. The byproducts of serving our communities are often the very things we need to grow our businesses and leave our mark.
Getting Your Name Out There
The bottom line is that the more your name is out in the community, the more people will see your name. If people don’t know your business, they can’t hire you. Getting involved with community volunteer projects is a great way to get your name in front of new and bigger audiences.
And while that might seem like a callous or inauthentic reason to volunteer, it’s only callous and inauthentic if you make it so. Finding a cause or charity to champion that is close to your heart as the owner or close to the hearts of your employees is anything but inauthentic.
Choosing an organization to partner with creates a long-term relationship between you, and often charities love to promote the businesses that support them consistently. So not only are you championing a cause you and your employees care about, but you also get your name in front of potential new clients who want to work with a company that cares.
A Reputation That Matters
When your business is doing good and serving your community regularly, you are creating a reputation that can take you further than you might expect. Not only do employees want to work for a company that does good, but consumers want to hire a company that does good.
Your clients hire you because of the quality of work you provide and because they trust you with their business. In addition, being an active member of your local community gives them added pride in that decision. Not only are they hiring the best team for the job, but they’re hiring a team that cares about what they care about and that does what they can to make their community a better place to live and work.
Not only will your clients be proud to hire you, but by creating a reputation as a company that cares, you’ll be more attractive to potential employees. As a result, you’ll attract high-quality employees who are passionate, skilled, and keen to be a part of the legacy you’re creating.
There are so many incredible ways to serve our communities; if your company hasn’t started yet, you’re missing out! There’s no limit to the creative ways we can do good. Even if your team is remote, there are still so many ways to serve virtually.
Serving our community is close to our heart here at Pulse, and you can check out some of the ways we’ve volunteered in the past! When we do business from the heart, we do better business and change our world.