As consumers become more educated and care about how the companies they purchase from do business, being a good corporate citizen is no longer optional – it is essential. In addition, competition for skilled labor is at an all time high and it’s imperative that business owners are proactively creating benefits that the workforce is asking for. Again, they’re asking to work for something more than profits. A simple way to get on the path to deeper community engagement is to involve your employees in volunteer projects. Here at SilverEdge, it’s an important part of how we do business and we’ve put together some tips and benefits of having a volunteer program at your company.
Volunteer initiatives should be supported from the top down, but they must be developed from the bottom up. If management dictates volunteer projects, then they become another task to be completed or simply part of one’s job description. When you begin to consider how to become involved in your community it’s important to engage employees from many departments and levels in the process. You can set guidelines, and it’s helpful to do so, but ask your employees what they care about and how they would like to engage.
When choosing cause initiatives or volunteer projects one of the most important steps is creating consistent messaging for your employees and customers. Begin by answering the following questions: Why is this important to your company? How will it drive business? How does it align with your core competencies, products or services? When you’ve answered these questions they become the bedrock of communications and marketing messages that go out related to these projects.
Your Profile in the Community
Sending employees into the community to serve not only gets your name out there, it reflects well on your business. While it may seem like a small detail, having employees wear company attire when volunteering is a great branding opportunity, shows that you have put thought into your volunteer program and that employees are proud to work for you. Your name will be recognized more often and people will see your company as a part of the solution when it comes to issues your community faces.
One of the most measureable benefits of employee volunteering is that your staff will gain valuable communication and leadership skills. We can all become comfortably complacent in our roles within a company. Going out to work with other organizations, especially when you are putting their goals at the forefront, requires excellent listening skills and the ability to be agile when offering help. Your employees will improve their communication skills in these situations or they’ll discover quickly where they need improvement. In addition, allowing your employees the flexibility to serve on non-profit Boards in your community is an excellent way for them to build leadership skills and relationships with other business owners who value the work that non-profits are doing. Board work isn’t easy, so supporting the time commitment required to do a good job is essential.
You’ll never regret getting more involved in your community and strengthening your business in the process is a real bonus. Here at SilverEdge we are ready to help you grow your business and are happy to help you to understand the marketing tools that our point of sale systems offer that can make spreading good news simple. Contact your SilverEdge representative today for an appointment and we’ll help you make your business richer.