Finding ways to create fun activities that keep employees engaged, build community, or simply boost morale is a difficult challenge many workplace leaders face today. Oftentimes leadership staff struggles to come up with ideas that garner excitement throughout the office and don’t take exorbitant amounts of time away from productive work hours. Because of this, sometimes community building activities are thrust to the side regardless of their long-term benefits to the company.
One way to begin developing activities that both boost employee morale and benefit the company is to consider incorporating good deeds or community projects into your company culture; this is especially rewarding around holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Earth Day. Employees commonly enjoy the opportunity to give back in a meaningful way, and community service-based projects are a great means by which to develop a reputation for giving back.
Building a Workplace Community
Sharing the positive feelings that are associated with knowing you are participating in a good deed is a powerful way in which to build relationships within your company. Many of these types of projects require some level of working together to reach a common goal, which is a powerful team building strategy utilized in thousands of company retreats annually. By working together to reach some sort of community service goal, team members often bond in a unique and powerful way.
One example of how this could work in a service project is through a food/clothing drive or company yard sale. Many of us are already familiar with food and clothing drives. One popular way to make this a team building activity is to have different departments compete to contribute the most items. Another way in which to work together for a cause is to host a company yard sale where employees bring in unwanted goods and all sales go to a non-profit organization voted on by employees. One company, 1-800-Got Junk, raised almost $31,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation at their yard sale.
Working together on projects such as these can huge long-lasting positive impacts on your workplace. Oftentimes, employees develop much stronger personal relationships with their coworkers. These types of relationships can be powerful in boosting company work project collaboration, which is tightly linked to new ways of thinking and innovative ideas that propel many businesses forward and give them an edge against competitors.
Building a Respected Name
Another monumental benefit of doing good deeds within the local and regional community is how doing so reflects upon the company’s values. Becoming known as a business that promotes community activism positively impacts sales because consumers are increasingly interested in supporting businesses that support a cause. More importantly, doing good deeds feels good, which often permeates your business environment in unique and positive ways.
An example of this in action is a good deed that Starbucks Coffee worked out with Arizona State University. In 2014, the company agreed to cover college tuition to ASU for their high school aged employees that had college aspirations. Recently, this coverage was extended to all employees. Nearly 2,000 have since started working towards degrees. Many are taking advantage of ASU’s extensive online program, which allows them to avoid high costs of moving and uprooting their lives.
“Everyone deserves a chance at the American dream. The unfortunate reality is that too many Americans can no longer afford a college degree, particularly disadvantaged young people, and others are saddled with burdensome education debt. By giving our partners access to four years of full tuition coverage, we will provide them a critical tool for lifelong opportunity. We’re stronger as a nation when everyone is afforded a pathway to success.” said chairman and CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz when asked about his reasons for doing this.
By helping to fund the college education of employees, Starbucks has cemented its place as a leader in promoting a higher well-being for all. The business has earned much applause from promoters of universal education. Furthermore, many of the graduates of this program could be executives within the company in the future, which could be another major benefit to the company over the long run.
No matter how your company chooses to give back to the local community, doing so is a great idea. Good deeds benefit the work environment greatly by promoting collaboration and strong relationship building centered around something employees feel is larger than them. Additionally, there a number of positive benefits for companies such as a reputation as a ‘good’ company and greater community support for your products. Perhaps it’s time to start planning your first company good deed today!