Here’s a question for you: who are you when you’re not repairing things?
It’s easy for a homeowner to do a quick Google search and find plenty of options for a contractor. These days, it’s not always enough for a business to simply be good at home repairs and service — it’s also important that a business can prove it’s a great choice for customer dollars. Many customers want to feel good about the decisions they make regarding the home service company they engage for a job, but the selection process can sometimes feel daunting.
That’s why who you and the members of your company are when you’re not at work can be as important as the work you do.
Customers, employees, and charity
A large portion of today’s consumers want to support a company that’s giving back to the community — one that’s actively engaged with local charities or important causes. Because many business owners know this, they state on their websites that they contribute to and work with a variety of charities. The business owners usually select the charities they feel passionate about, which is fantastic! But they may miss a great opportunity to connect with others if they don’t consider their potential clients’ interests in the chosen charities or causes. Owners also sometimes overlook their employees’ ideas about where their companies should be charitably giving, meaning they’re giving up an opportunity to improve engagement and happiness in their workplaces.
But why does this matter? Because a recent study by JS Daw & Associates found that 93 percent of all millennials (people born between 1981-1996) have donated to at least one non-profit organization. That’s almost all millennials. Homeownership is also on the rise with millennials — this group now owns at least 39 percent of all homes. That number is only going to get bigger. And consider who you’re hiring right now — are you hiring millennials? If you are, consider this: millennials, in general, are extremely interested in working for companies they feel good about. They also want to spend their money at these companies! This leads to an obvious conclusion: to attract millennials — a huge group of potential customers — as both a recruiting and consumer base, companies should make it clear they donate to charities, and consider their charity choices carefully, as part of their culture.
How to get involved in charity
Building a culture of giving back with your employees is a great strategy for improving retention and workplace happiness. Because of this, many businesses regularly incorporate ways to contribute to their community into their day-to-day operations. If you’re looking for ways to do this, your leadership team could interview employees to find out the top three charitable organizations or non-profit groups each employee is passionate about. They could then choose one of these charities as the focus for the month and select an employee spokesperson for the charity. The employee spokesperson could share information about the organization with their team members and explain why they care about the cause. The team could then choose a way to help the cause; options might include raising donations, participating in public events, or performing an act of service for the cause.
Specific ways for a company to give back to a charitable cause include:
- Participating in a charity 5k walk/run
- Volunteering at an animal shelter
- Building a needed playground
- Collecting non-perishable items for a food bank
- Cleaning up trash and debris from a road or public area
- Planting flowers or sprucing up a community area.
The benefits of being involved in charity
When they give back, employees bond with one another and help create a company culture of caring and empathy. Creating a culture of caring helps employees feel more connected to their company. In turn, they may do a better job at work. There’s truth to the saying that happy employees make happy customers. If your employees feel proud of the company they work for, they’re more likely to educate customers about why your company is deserving of their dollars. A happy, engaged employee working for a company they believe in will typically fight harder for each customer, and do a better job each time.
As owners and employees, we find what we focus on. If you and your team focus on causes that you’re passionate about outside of work, that same renewed passion and zeal will carry over into the workplace. Another benefit? Corporate-sponsored group events and support often lead to media coverage or employees sharing events on social media outlets. This means a company that gives back often reaches a bigger percentage of the population with its message, and all for a good cause!
When your company’s actions make it clear to customers, employees, and community members that your company cares about the community, the rewards are more than worth the effort. You’ll find that you attract more customers, retain happier employees, and feel great about your company’s place in your neighborhood.