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Serving the community is good business

Providing employees an opportunity to give back to their community is an important facet of a company’s culture. It is a win-win for the business and individual employees. 

Involvement in civic events, charitable functions, community activities, etc., reaps many benefits. Monetary contributions are always important, and needed, but time commitments and involvement from individuals are very valuable.

Many organizations are heavily dependent on volunteers just to be able to stay afloat. Schools, clubs, civic organizations and charitable groups are all generally short on people, and volunteers fill in the gap to accomplish their mission.

One of the benefits for the company who allows employees to volunteer is good public relations in the community. Being socially responsible is appreciated and necessary for civic and charitable organizations to function.

Benefits to employees participating include the following:
• Team building
• Leadership training and experience
• Sense of accomplishment and helping others
• Morale boost
• Personal development
• Learning to multi-task
• Networking
Benefits to businesses are many:
• Boosting business
• Enhancing public relations
• Showing employees why it is important to be a good citizen
• Empowering employees to practice at work what is learned as a volunteer
• Creating bonds among employees
• Allowing employees to gain a better sense of community
• Heightening employee retention
• Sparking a spirit of unity in the workplace
• Enhancing contacts with other businesses and with clients

There are many opportunities in every community for all employees from the CEO down through the ranks. Organizations are always looking for volunteers for a variety of functions.

Allowing employees to choose the organization they have interest in allows their participation in a function they are passionate about. Choices include hospitals, nursing homes, schools, shelters, clubs and other charitable organizations. 

Companies who set the example for their employees with sponsorships and commitments get payback with their staff and in the community. It is money well spent and opens the door for individual involvement and support.

This is the best way to ensure employee engagement. Stepping away from day-to-day activities and giving back to those who need help brings people together in service and builds lasting relationships.

Many companies provide employees with paid time off for participation and offer other incentives for donating their time and talents. Awards range from merchandise awards to days off.

All will work to incentivize employees to participate. Interest builds as companies support organizations from year to year.

The reality is that social transformation can take place in communities where businesses and their employees are engaged in solving their own problems and supporting agencies and organizations established for the betterment of all its citizens. It is a fact that partnering with civic and charitable organizations in the communities in which they operate is good business. 

The support and involvement of civic and charitable organizations pays benefits not only to the organization being served but also for the businesses and their employees who contribute money and their time. It’s a triple win.

Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing bvaughnfurlow@gmail.com.