As organizations increasingly incorporate philanthropy into their corporate culture and values, the onus is placed on the employees to get involved and participate in giving back to and volunteering within their communities.
In order to truly support the act of giving within your teams, your employees need to feel supported by their employers in their initiatives to contribute to their communities on behalf of your company’s culture of giving. Here are three ways to encourage and motivate your employees to give back through volunteering and community giving
Give them the time to go out and do the work
If you want your company brand to be one of giving, then any and all activities need to happen on company time. Employers may decide to have evening or weekend events to support the community and expect their employees to give up
from their personal time in order to participate in building up both the community and the company brand.
Instead, respect your employee’s right to maintain their work/life balance by allowing your teams to take a few hours each quarter to give back to the community.
A few examples of volunteer initiatives include rounding up your various departments and organizing a garbage cleanup at a local park near your office and/or sending employees to a local elementary, high school, after-school program to contribute their knowledge and skills through mentoring, tutoring, or reading. Here are a few links to check out – Volunteering with the City of Vancouver, or helping out at the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. the SPCA or the Red Cross.
Give them the resources to contribute
A few popular ways for companies to give back to those in need is to run bottle drives and other recycling projects, collect non-perishable food items to donate to their local food bank, or to host a fundraising campaign internally or externally for a specific cause.
As an alternative to these programs, provide your employees with a budget allowance to manage a giving program of their choosing. For example, instead of asking for cans to donate to a food bank, give each department a small budget to cook a hot meal together for a family in need. By providing your teams with the resources they need to give back, you are signaling that you truly believe in the importance of generosity. The Ronald McDonald House and The Health and Home Care Society do a great job of this.
Give them the autonomy to give back how they want
Instead of micromanaging the act of giving, allow your teams to come up with creative ways to do good. It’s an excellent way for your people to take initiative, manage themselves, develop their relationships with their colleagues, and ultimately feel respected and valued by their employers.
Some examples of giving initiatives that I’ve seen success with in the past include:
- Putting together toiletry bags to give to those in need
- Stopping by a seniors’ facility to spend an hour with someone who may not receive a lot of visitors and daily interaction
- Selecting one local community organization close to my heart and sponsoring an event to support their overall objectives
Over to you
While giving back has its obvious benefits to those you help, it’s also important to acknowledge that the above initiatives will play an integral role in enhancing your overall organization through skill-building, team-bonding, and employee happiness.
These are a great way to help!
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