Cultivating Community through Corporate Responsibility
It’s not just because it feels good; studies have shown that gathering your employees to give back to your community provides many advantages for your company. According to the 2017 Deloitte Volunteerism Study, 74% of employees think volunteerism provides an improved sense of purpose and 89% of employees believe that companies who sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall work environment than those who do not.
Today’s job seekers are looking for companies that are invested in the well-being of their employees and in their community. An employer that shows engagement in their community and has happy employees might see an improved company reputation – and more business – as a result.
Community involvement could be especially meaningful for security professionals, who work every day to provide a sense of safety to millions of Americans across the nation. Installers are frequently welcomed into the homes and businesses of the people they protect, making the trust of the community a vital component of their success.
One ESA member company recently discovered its employees’ passion for community involvement when it launched a philanthropic initiative in April.
From April 27 through May 12, 2019, ADS Security employees participated in the Sound the Alarm event with the American Red Cross. The annual event provides free smoke alarms and fire safety preparation to 100 at-risk communities in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
ADS Security’s philanthropic initiative began with encouragement from the company’s local branches, who had participated with the American Red Cross on an individual basis. Sarah Grathwohl, associate marketing manager of ADS Security, brought the idea of a nationwide community involvement initiative to the attention of ADS Security President John Cerasuolo and received immediate approval for an employee volunteer day.
“Our mission is to get involved in the community,” Grathwohl says. “One branch actually made ADS Security shirts specific for the American Red Cross Sound the Alarm volunteer day. Once I sent out the email to ask for input, everyone was excited to jump in and give back.”
As a national volunteer initiative, 13 branches of ADS Security signed up for the cause. The American Red Cross trained sixty employees, joined by their friends and family, on how to install smoke detectors and educate the community about the importance of fire safety.
“Every team member had a different job to make the day successful,” Grathwohl says. “Over one weekend, in 4-5 hours we installed 300 smoke detectors and taught others the importance of a fire safety plan.”
While doing the social good of giving fire detection to those in need, ADS Security employees were able to connect with their community and show the importance of what their company does.
“The benefit of volunteering [for us] is the pride of helping. Employees get to connect with one another and with the community,” Grathwohl says.
After participating in this initiative, his company saw the importance of community involvement and decided they would like to do more.
“At ADS Security, we are rolling out a new initiative to give a percentage back to those in need. We would like to participate more,” Grathwohl says.
As this ESA member company discovered, contributing to a local nonprofit that is closely related to your market might boost employee engagement and build stronger connections between your company and the community.
For those considering whether to implement a similar program, there is good news: doing social good doesn’t always mean giving up your whole weekend. There are a variety of ways to test the waters and contribute to your community, and each community has different needs to be addressed.
A few of the more common ways to get involved include:
Get involved in a community event put on by a local nonprofit. Set aside a volunteer workday or weekend to encourage employees to volunteer their time. Provide employees with incentives such as a paid day off, catered lunch, or a workplace contest.
Start a fundraising event to benefit a local nonprofit. Host a silent auction to raffle off your business’ products or services. To host larger events, such as walkathons or fashion shows, ask for other businesses to collaborate to increase turnout.
Sponsoring a local fundraising event provides brand recognition. Getting involved through sponsorships allows you to network with other businesses to support nonprofits while making connections.
Organizing and implementing volunteer days for your company could provide positive brand recognition through the media and expansion of your customer base during events. The ability to recognize philanthropy in the workplace might also aid your employee retention and improve the overall work environment by instilling a sense of purpose. If you haven’t given back in your community yet, now is the time to try rallying your employees to make a difference in the lives of others!
THE BENEFITS OF CORPORATE VOLUNTEERISM
Team building through volunteer activities can aid work relationships. Working together on a common goal provides open communication and the ability to locate new, undiscovered talents among coworkers. Volunteerism provides free problem solving and leadership training to your workforce.
Building Community Ties
Contribution to your community leads to further teamwork in the future. Team working with other businesses during volunteer events is a networking event within itself. Cultivating connections through volunteering and fundraising helps other businesses get to know your company’s mission.
Company recognition from volunteer events can lead to further business, including generating new leads and prospects. Integrating philanthropic values into your company’s mission can not only drive business but motivate employees to work towards a common goal. Consumers are searching for companies dedicated to community involvement and to their employees.
Investing in your employees’ sense of purpose will provide motivation, good self-esteem and overall well-being to your workers. Volunteer work will empower your employees with purpose-driven tools and strategies in decision making to enable rising leaders in the workplace. Potential new hires commend companies with strong moral values and devotion to community efforts.