I felt a tap on my shoulder, and then I heard, “Hey Bobby, will you help us? We have some pressing needs and would like to have you pitch in and help.” Have you ever been asked to serve your community or a non-profit organization in a volunteer capacity? I’ve had this happen several times, and my answer to this question has significantly impacted me and my company.
When we are asked to help out, we often hesitate, and wonder if we have the time to devote to something that is not a regular part of our life or business. After all, time spent serving in an organization is time that could be otherwise spent growing our own business.
Like so many things in life, what first appears to be the “no brainer” answer to a question is not always the best answer. I have discovered there are some distinct benefits to serving in nonprofit organizations.
I really enjoyed community service and was involved in so many ways, but our business never seemed to be hurt because of the time I spent serving other people outside our business. In fact, the leadership practice of serving in your community corresponds with an attribute in the ERC (Employers Resource Council) report on great workplaces .
ERC noted the following about great workplaces:
Great workplaces make an impact on and give back to their local community. Not only do they do they generously donate their company resources to the community, but they also serve their communities by helping others in need and offering their staff's time and talents.
Every leader can improve their culture by incorporating community service into their workplace.
Because I had such good experience in serving our community, I was always encouraging our people to serve as well. Not only did I try to set an example, but we also offered our business services free or at cost, when we identified a worthy need.
Acts of Service
For example, in the past year our company has done the following:
- We engaged our employees and our company to donate time and/or money to 12 different organizations.
- We donated in-kind goods and services to 39 different organizations.
This service in and to our community had the following impact:
- Our employees have learned how to work with a wide variety of people to accomplish a common objective.
- The community thinks well of our employees and our business. Our reputation is held in high esteem. Because of our good reputation…
- Our business continues to grow.
- It’s easier to recruit good employees.
- Our employees developed tighter bonds with each other and became a more cohesive team.
- Our employees think well of our company because we used our business to better the community their families live in. Therefore, it makes it easier to retain good employees.
What about you? How do you, your employees, and your business serve your community? – Please leave a comment below. I’d love to learn how you serve your community!
PS: Here are links to the first seven posts in this series on great workplace cultures.
- How to Win in the Marketplace
- Two Ways Leaders Can Improve Their Cultures
- How to Hire the Right People
- Are You Investing in Training and Development?
- 7 Ways You Can Up Your Communication Game
- The Secret Every Leader Needs to Know
- What Does Dr. Seuss Know About Building an Inspiring Culture?
 yourerc.com “HR Insights Blog” ERC (Employers Resource Council), 5-Sep-2013 (12-Aug-2014).