I grew up on a farm, by a small town…but a vibrant small town. Although we didn’t have stop lights, we did have a community that gave back. We volunteered at church breakfasts, donated to church or school fundraisers, worked in the concession stand at events and were simply present at church and school events to show support. These early years taught me the importance of giving back not only financially but also the giving of my time, which we all know can many times be tougher than opening up one’s wallet.
Then we all grow up and eventually find our way into a job. Values that we all acquired in our early years are still with us and although our communities might still be church and school, we now add a third link, that being our employers. Most of us spend a lot of time at work – at least 36 to 45% of our waking hours each week and for some of us that percentage is much higher.
I consider myself lucky to work for a company that has so many initiatives to give back to the communities that we live in, give back to our co-workers and truly care about helping others. Giving employees a vehicle to give back can boost employee morale and engagement. Going out to volunteer with co-workers allows you to get to know them on a different level.
Who knew that one of my co-workers would be the first to jump up and dance with a resident at a nursing home? I will always remember how proud I was to work with a group that would do things out of their comfort zone.
Who knew that when we volunteered to paint a room in a school that we had people so good at edging and trimming? I just looked for the biggest wall I could find to slop my paint brush on.
Who knew the patience I would see my co-workers have when we volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club and hula hooped, played board games or basketball.
I have found that people really do want to know and feel they are making their communities, their towns, their world a better place. A company’s charitable initiatives can have a greater impact than you may think, financial donations are no longer all about the tax break. Companies that encourage charitable initiatives distinguish themselves by having more engaged, happier employees. The community sees the employer in a different light and suggests to others to work for that company.
In 2015, our company had a very successful United Way Campaign – but then I knew we would – we always do. Last year each month our company had great checks donated to unsuspecting charities as part of our Casual for a Cause – but then I knew we would – we always do. Last year our company had many people donate their time in our Pay-it-Forward campaign – but then I knew we would – we always do. Giving back is a part of CBE culture, and helps link and engage us in our work community. I am looking forward to another rewarding 2016!
Is giving back a part of your company culture?